Election Reform!

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Offline Geolibertarian

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Election Reform!
« on: January 23, 2009, 04:16:05 AM »
IMHO, election reform is easily one of the three most important issues facing our society right now. Why? Because the Democratic and Republican parties -- the two parties that have monopolized our government for decades upon decades, and who jointly caused the current mess we're in -- have repeatedly proven that they are thoroughly and hopelessly corrupt.

Thus, without meaningful election reform, no other meaningful reforms are possible!

How, then, do "we the people" reassert our rightful control over government?

First, those of us in the know must familiarize as many people as we can with the following material (all books are clickable):







http://hackingdemocracy.com
http://americanblackout.org
http://www.votersunite.org

Then we must urge those same people to join forces with us in a non-partisan, cross-ideological coalition to:

     * Institute fair and equal ballot access criteria.
 
     * Enact both Congressman Ron Paul's Freedom Debate Act and Senator Herb Kohl's Weekend Voting Act.

     * Repeal both the Federal Election Campaign Act and Bipartisan Campaign "Reform" Act.

     * Institute instant runoff voting for Presidential, U.S. Senate, and gubernatorial elections.

     * Institute proportional representation for both U.S. House and state house elections.

     * Mandate the use of hand-counted paper ballots for all elections.

     * Require all election ballots to include a binding None of the Above option.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Biggs

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Re: Election Reform!
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2009, 04:10:35 PM »
bump
STOP THE KILLING NOW
END THE CRIMINAL SIEGE OF GAZA - FREE PALESTINE!!!!!!!

Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Election Reform!
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2010, 03:21:16 PM »
With the arguable exception of Police State 3: Total Enslavement, the following is Alex's most underrated documentary:

       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cIh36N1LwY (American Dictators)


A key point made in the above film is that there's more to rigging an election than mere "vote fraud" (electronic or otherwise). There's also the institutionalized yet inherently illegitimate process whereby the criminal, banker-owned political establishment ensures that the two major party candidates are both puppets of the global elite, that way, no matter which of the two major candidates "loses," the international bankers win.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Election Reform!
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2010, 03:22:29 PM »
If you'd like to know who to sarcastically thank for how ridiculously bad things have gotten in recent years, thank "lesser evil voters."

So brainwashed, so sheeplike, and so emotionally wedded to the false left-right/Democrat-Republican paradigm are lesser evil voters, that even if the Republican and Democratic nominees were Hitler and Stalin -- and God himself was the third party candidate -- the two "major" candidates would still get over 90% of the vote.  ::)

-------------------------------------

http://voices.yahoo.com/the-evils-lesser-evil-voting-385201.html

The Evils of Lesser Evil Voting

Joel S. Hirschhorn
Yahoo Voices
June 02, 2007

Condemn progressives for voting enthusiastically for Democrats and the inevitable response is something like “just imagine how much worse voting for Republicans would be.” Similarly, many true conservatives and Libertarians see voting for Republicans as a necessary evil. With many progressives regretting giving Democrats a majority in Congress and many conservatives regretting putting George W. Bush in the White House, it is timely to refute lesser evil logic.

Inevitably, lesser evil voters face personal disappointment and some shame. Politicians that receive lesser evil votes do not perform according to the values and principles that the lesser evil voter holds dear. These voters must accept responsibility for putting ineffective, dishonest and corrupt politicians in office. Though they may be lesser evils, they remain evils.

All too often lesser evil voters avoid shame and regret and prevent painful cognitive dissonance by deluding themselves that the politician they helped put in office is really not so bad after all. Corrosive lesser evil voting erodes one’s principles as pragmatism replaces idealism. This makes the next cycle of lesser evil voting easier.

Lesser evil voting helps stabilize America’s two-party duopoly that greatly restricts true political competition. Third party and independent candidates – and minor Democratic and Republican candidates in primaries – are defeated by massive numbers of lesser evil voters. Despite authentically having the political goals that mesh with many voters on the left or right, these minor “best” candidates fall victim to lesser evil voting. Lesser evil voters are addicted to a self-fulfilling prophesy. They think “If I vote for a minor candidate they will lose anyway.” They ensure this outcome though their lesser evil voting. The truly wasted vote is the unprincipled lesser evil vote.

Effective representative democracy requires politically engaged citizens that vote. Lesser-evil voters support the current two-party system with its terribly low voter turnout and chronic dishonesty and corruption. Lesser evil voters help put into office disappointing politicians, not the best people that would restore American democracy and show more citizens that voting is valuable. Lesser evil voters demonstrate the validity of turned-off citizens’ view that it really does not matter which major party wins office.

Politicians knowingly market themselves to lesser evil voters by constructing phony sales pitches, especially to certain audiences outside of their more certain base constituents. Democrats make themselves look more progressive than they really are, and Republicans make themselves look more conservative than they really are. Lesser evil voters are phony, and they produce a phony political system. Lesser evil voters contribute mightily to the travesty of our political system that no sane person respects and has confidence in.

Lesser evil voting demonstrates the worst aspects of political compromise. This is the common cause of terrible laws. When citizens surrender so much of what they truly believe in, they enable compromise politicians to create bad public policy that, in the end, satisfies very few people and puts band-aids on severe problems. Lesser evil voters concede victory to the other side – the side they view as the worse alternative because the people they vote for will not stand up for what is right and necessary. Think Iraq war. Even when their lesser evil side wins, they do not have the principled positions that would prevent awful compromises, often in the name of bipartisanship that is a clever way to justify our corrupt two-party mafia.

Lesser evil voters deride the alternatives of not voting or voting for minor candidates. The outcome should the “other” side win is deemed unacceptable. There is worse and there is worst. The core problem with lesser evil voters is that they are short term thinkers. They fail to see the repeated long term consequence of their style of voting – a system over many election cycles that persists in delivering suboptimal results. The “good” outcome in the current election (from their perspective) is the enemy of the “better” solution in the longer term (from an objective perspective). The better solution is major reform that will never happen as long as lesser evil voting persists.

Understand this: Lesser evil voting is not courageous. It is cowardly surrender to the disappointing two-party status quo. Lesser evil voters should trade regret for pride by voting for candidates they really think are the best. Voters in this presidential primary season have some remarkable opportunities to transform fine minor candidates into competitive major candidates – more honest and trustworthy people like Ron Paul, Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich, for example.

Finally, the deadly decline of American democracy results in large measure from lesser evil voters electing lesser evil politicians. When virtually no elected public official is there because most voters have embraced his clear principled, trustworthy positions we get a government that is easily corrupted by corporate and other moneyed interests. We get what we have now. And if you are dissatisfied with that, then reconsider the wisdom of lesser evil voting. We will only get the best government by voting for the best candidates. Otherwise, we get what we deserve and what the power elites prefer.


http://www.nolanchart.com/article8066-lesserevil-voting-perpetuates-evil.html

Lesser-Evil Voting Perpetuates Evil

The root explanation of why the nation is in terrible shape and speeding down the wrong track is the dominant practice of lesser-evil voting.

by Joel S. Hirschhorn
Nolan Chart
October 13, 2010

For many years Americans have justified voting for candidates they were not especially thrilled with by convincing themselves that the lesser evil deserved to win office. The fraction of people totally committed to one of the two major parties is small. Most Americans see themselves as independents, liberals, conservatives, progressives or libertarians, but not as loyal Democrats or Republicans. Most Americans are fed up with both major parties, not just incumbents.

But this year's midterm elections will once again result in only Democratic or Republican candidates winning. Other than staying home and not voting, nearly all voters will employ the lesser-evil justification. Just one problem: That lesser-evil strategy has resulted in the dismal state of the nation that angers most Americans.

The only logical conclusion is that lesser-evil voting perpetuates all the cancerous evil plaguing the political system. This should not surprise anyone. Regardless of party affiliation, major party candidates convincingly lie to voters and the tons of money poured into politics create a mass propaganda machine from both parties that deceives voters.

Lesser-evil voting sometimes works in favor of Democrats and sometimes favors Republicans. Negative advertising creates fear of some candidates and media pundits and celebrities use their considerable power to give voters reasons to vote for or against candidates. The thirst for true reforms of government persists, as evidenced by the Tea Party movement and even the election of President Obama. It is the force that moves the pendulum from one party to the other.

When will Americans wake up and realize that lesser evil still means evil? Least bad still means bad. Least corrupt still means corrupt. Least dishonest still means dishonest. Least stupid still means stupid.

But many people despairingly see no other option if they want to fulfill their civic responsibility and participate in elections. That is because the two major parties have given Americans no real options. They like the lesser-evil system that sustains the two-party plutocracy. Only voters in Nevada can choose the "none of the above" option. The rest of us can stay home or vote for third party candidates that stand no real chance of winning. What to do?

Stop deluding yourself that any Democrat or Republican in Congress or the White House will actually do absolutely everything, even if it means not winning reelection, to reform the corrupt, dysfunctional, wasteful government system being controlled by wealthy people and corporate interests, and devastating ordinary Americans.

Your lesser-evil vote perpetuates evil. Do you want to live with that?

[Continued...]

-------------------------------------

"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Election Reform!
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2010, 03:25:45 PM »
http://web.archive.org/web/20031208013721/www.3pc.net/essays/fallacy.html

The Fallacy of the "Wasted" Vote

If you are like most people, you might say something like:

"The way I see it, there are only two possible outcomes in any election: either the Democrat will win or the Republican will win. I vote for one of these two because I do not want to waste my vote on someone who has no chance of winning."

Roughly 80% of Americans use this procedure when deciding how to vote, and this is unfortunate. Voting for a candidate other than your true favorite has the EXACT OPPOSITE of the desired effect. Let's see why...

"But I don't want to vote for someone who can't win."

Voting for a candidate other than your favorite has the exact opposite of the desired effect. If your beliefs exactly match those of some particular candidate, then you ought to vote for them. Of course, this never happens, so you have to pick the lesser, or the least, of several evils.

Suppose you, and people like you, almost always vote for candidates from one of the two major parties. If you do this, the optimal strategy for the parties is to IGNORE you completely. Since the candidate already knows that your vote is in hand, he can then concentrate on moving the platform AWAY from your wishes, in order to court the votes of people with beliefs far from your own.

For example, many people who like Libertarian ideas always vote for Republicans. What does the party do to reward them? They make policies to win over moderate liberals. Similarly, many people who like Green Party ideas always vote for Democrats, and so the Democrats ignore them and make policies to win over moderate conservatives. Either way, the voters get the opposite of what they wanted, as the Democrats and Republicans move toward the political center.

To give recent example, in this year's presidential race, it is likely that most of Pat Buchanan's supporters will vote for Bob Dole in the coming election. Dole knows this, so he simply ignores Buchanan and his platform, and even tries to make himself look more liberal in order to court centrist Democrats.

Politicians don't need your approval, so long as they have your vote.

"But I dont want that other guy to win!"

Perhaps you feel that if you vote for your favorite candidate instead of a more popular alternative, then things will backfire on you because then your LEAST favorite candidate might win, and if he does then it will be your fault. This is a false fear.

If your least favorite candidate wins, then it is NOT your fault. You personally have only one vote. Like it or not, you are powerless to turn the results of a democratic election. This being the case, your one vote counts for something only in the sense that it represents your approval of some set of principles. Voting is a means of conveying information about what you believe. If you ignore your principles then this information is lost, and your vote really is wasted.

In preparation for subsequent elections, all politicians in the dominant parties continuously review polls and election results to see what voter blocks they might like to try to sway. If your block or party is big enough, these politicians will make some effort to win some of you over by implementing policies that you favor. They would be fools not to, since politicians and parties that enact unpopluar legislation lose the next election. Recall what happened to George Bush after he broke his "no new taxes" pledge.

The only way you can make your vote worth something is to use it to vote for the candidate whose principles are closest to what you really want.

The Clear Conclusion

In short, voting for someone other than your favorite candidate is not only unappealing, but also contrary to your own best interests. The only way to make your voice heard is to actually VOTE, and when you do, vote for your principles.

In the 1996 presidential primaries in South Carolina, Republican candidate Bob Dole spent several hundred thousand dollars running an ad that said:

    "Bob Dole is going to be the nominee. Don't waste your vote."

We leave it to you to resolve the paradox.


http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig5/hooper1.html

The Myth of the Wasted Vote

by Charles L. Hooper
LewRockwell.com
September 21, 2004
        
Recently, I was surprised to see a long-term Libertarian's car sporting a Kerry/Edwards bumper sticker. "What's with the Kerry bumper sticker?" I asked my friend. "Isn't it self-explanatory?" he replied sarcastically. "Okay, okay, I see that you’re going to vote for Kerry. I just want to know why. I thought you would be voting Libertarian."

He then proceeded to tell me that while he doesn't like Kerry, he simply despises George W. Bush. "You don't want to waste your vote on somebody that you fundamentally disagree with, do you?" I asked him. "I've been wasting my vote for years by voting Libertarian," he replied bitterly.

"Ah, but you will be wasting your vote this year because Kerry is almost assured to take California. One extra vote won't make a difference." I hadn't run the numbers, but I was sure that my friend's vote wasn't going to affect the California electoral vote and, therefore, had no chance of affecting the national result.

Since our conversation I have run the numbers, and they are mind-boggling. Based on these results, reasonable people may conclude that they should never vote. But if you do decide to cast your vote, as I have, you should vote for the best candidate and abandon any attempts to displace the disliked Kerrys, Bushes, Clintons, Reagans, Carters, and Gores of the world.

To run the numbers, I created a Monte Carlo computer simulation model and ran well over 300,000 simulations. My model has two pretty evenly matched main political parties and three smaller ones that fight over roughly ten percent of the vote total. I defined voting groups, each with probability distributions. With these groups defined, I ran multiple runs of the model at 5,000 iterations (5,000 elections) each while varying the number of total voters.

It turns out that your one vote, and mine too, has a probability of swinging any evenly-matched election based on the following formula: Probability equals 3.64 divided by N, where N is the total number of votes cast. So for a small election, say for a homeowners' association with 100 members, your probability of casting the vote that determines the outcome is about 3.64 percent (or 0.0364). Stated differently, you'd have to vote in 27.5 elections to determine a single one. As we move up to the state and national level, the odds fall dramatically. With 11 million voters in California, where my friend and I live, the probability drops to 3.3 x 10-7 (0.00000033), which means that you'd have to vote in over three million presidential elections to determine the winner in California just once.

Of course, California isn't the whole country. California currently has 55 electoral votes out of a total of 538, with 270 needed to elect a president. Since 1852, when Californians first voted for U.S. president, California has been a key swing state in only two presidential elections. In 1876, California cast 6 electoral votes for Rutherford B. Hayes, who beat Samuel J. Tilden by the razor-thin margin of 185 to 184. In 1916, California cast 13 electoral votes for Woodrow Wilson, who beat Charles E. Hughes by 277 to 254. In either election, if California voters had gone the other direction, the national totals would have followed. In every other presidential election, however, the winner was determined regardless of how Californians voted. By acknowledging that California has been a swing state in only two of its 38 elections (5.3%), we can get to our final answer: A voter in California would have to vote in 57.5 million elections to determine one President of the United States.

This ignores voting error and fraud, but even with them, there is still a point at which the official vote total swings from candidate A to candidate B. The question is whether you will cast that key vote. And the answer is that it’s extremely unlikely.

What does this mean? Well, first of all it means that you'd have to vote for a very long time – 230 million years – to swing one election and all you'd have to show for it is a Bush in the White House instead of a Kerry (or visa versa). If you are like me and many other voters, you can't get very excited about either Bush or Kerry, so your final payoff would be lackluster, at best. For those who still think these odds look acceptable, consider the following comparisons. You are 12 times as likely to die from a dog attack, 34,000 times as likely to die in a motor vehicle accident, and 274 times as likely to die in a bathtub drowning as you are to swing a presidential election.

My friend thinks that his Libertarian votes have been wasted and that his vote for a Democrat will matter. This analysis shows that his vote for Kerry has a vanishingly small expected value. Even if he would be willing to pay $10,000 to determine the winner in November, the expected value (probability times value) of his vote for Kerry is only $0.00017. Americans won't even stoop to pick up a penny on the ground yet every four years they happily cast votes worth one fiftieth as much. Voting may still make sense, but the overall satisfaction of participating in a great democracy must be compared to the time and costs of voting. The expected vote-swinging outcome is rounding error. In fact, if you drive to your polling place, you are approximately ten times more likely to die in an accident on the way than you are to swing that presidential election.

Now, what if my friend votes for Michael Badnarik, the 2004 Libertarian candidate? Is that vote wasted? Well, it is clear that no third-party candidate will win the 2004 election, but my friend's support would certainly help his favorite political party stay in business and therefore get noticed. While it is in business, his party will help define election issues and could even get lucky and elect a president. Abraham Lincoln and Jesse Ventura are good examples of third-party candidates who were elected. Ross Perot in 1996 and 1992, American Independent George Wallace in 1968, and Progressive Robert LaFollette in 1924 were presidential candidates who got a large percentage of the popular vote. More likely, as any third party becomes successful, the Democrats and Republicans will simply adopt that party's platforms. The same thing happened with the Socialist party early in the 20th century. As Milton Friedman points out, the Socialists failed miserably with a popular vote total that peaked at only six percent in 1912. But they succeeded in the way that matters most. Dig below the surface and you'll find that virtually every economic plank of the Socialist's 1928 platform has since been written into law. The votes cast for these Socialists certainly weren't wasted from the point of view of those who cast them.

Your one vote has the same power to affect the results whether you vote for a major or minor candidate, but a vote for the candidate you respect and agree with gives you the expectation of a better outcome. If you are like me and do take the time and effort to vote, you should put your X beside the candidate you think will be the best president, not the one most likely to beat the guy you dislike. The myth of the wasted third-party vote is just that – a myth. If there is a wasted vote, it is the one cast futilely against the candidate you dislike in an attempt to swing the national election.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Election Reform!
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2010, 03:26:28 PM »
http://www.cagreens.org/alameda/city/0803myth/myth.html

Dispelling the Myth of Election 2000: Did Nader Cost Gore the Election?

Questioning the Myth

George Bush beat Al Gore by only 543 votes in Florida. Gore needed Florida’s electoral votes in order to win the presidency. He did not get them. Gore’s diehard Democratic Party supporters have declared Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader the reason their candidate lost the 2000 presidential election, even though numerous other factors in the climactic Florida vote-counting drama affected the outcome. Instead of focusing solely on the votes Ralph Nader took from Al Gore, a balanced analysis would also take into account the following: (1) voters who were disenfranchised; (2) voting systems and procedures that failed; (3) the party-line United States Supreme Court vote declaring George W. Bush the winner; and (4) Democrats who voted for Bush or not at all.

Disenfranchised By Design?

The Florida Secretary of State’s Office hired a private firm known as Database Technologies, Inc. (now ChoicePoint Corporation) to identify convicted felons and remove them from Florida’s voting rolls. Prior to the election, 94,000 voters were removed (Kelly, 2002). This is legal if someone has been convicted of a felony, but as it turns out, 97 percent were innocent and should not have been removed. "The list was full of mistakes mainly because of the criteria [the database company] used. It compared its list of felons with the Florida voting rolls by looking for a rough match between the names and dates of birth. Thus a Christine Smith could have been disqualified if there had been a Christopher Smith of the same age with a felony record somewhere in the US. [the database company] also used race as a matching criterion, skewing the impact of the errors even more against black voters" (Borger & Palast, 2001). As The Nation magazine reported, "immediately after the November 7, 2000 election, minority voters who had never committed crimes complained of having had their names removed from voting rolls in a purge of ‘ex-felons,’ of being denied translation services required by law, … and of harassment by poll workers and law-enforcement officials." The list of voters denied the right to vote was overwhelmingly Democratic and half were minorities (Kelly, 2002). Al Gore neither protested the disenfranchisement nor supported these voters’ lawsuit to regain their vote.

Voting Systems and Procedures

Voting systems throughout Florida (as well as the country) varied in makeup, and some had seriously flawed ballots. Since the 2000 presidential election, 11,000 election-related complaints have been registered in Florida, and some reforms have been implemented.

Paper and Pencil Ballot

Some Florida counties used a paper and pencil ballot. Some of these counties sent their ballots to the county seat (election headquarters) for tabulation, while others tallied votes at the polling place. When votes were counted at a county election headquarters, voters were not given a chance to revote if they had made a mistake, such as double voting or making an illegible mark on a ballot, and, in this scenario, African-Americans were four times as likely as whites to have their ballots thrown out (Keating & Mintz, 2001). In the tally-on-site counties, voters were told immediately if they had made a mistake and were given a second chance to vote (ibid). In these second-chance counties, African-Americans were just under two times as likely as whites to have ballots tossed out. With nine out of ten African-American voters voting Democratic and two-thirds of white voters voting Republican, the use of voting systems that lacked a second-chance option represented a net advantage for Bush of thousands of votes.

One common type of disqualified ballot, called a double bubble, showed a double vote for president in that a voter marked the oval next to the candidate’s name and then also marked the oval next to "write in" and wrote in the same candidate’s name. A Washington Post review (2001) found that Gore would have had a net gain of 662 votes, enough to win, if there had been a hand recount of "over-votes," mostly from double bubbles.

The Infamous Butterfly Ballot

The infamous butterfly ballot has punch holes running down the center and the list of candidates on pages to the left and right of these holes. Butterfly ballots are the most prone to voter confusion as it is not clear which hole goes with which candidate. Palm Beach County, the one county in Florida that used this system, is a predominantly Democratic-leaning county yet extreme conservative candidate Pat Buchanan had a phenomenal showing there. On the left side of the Palm Beach County ballot George Bush was listed first and Al Gore second. However, the second punch hole in the center of the ballot was for Pat Buchanan, the first candidate listed on the right.

Pat Buchanan himself has admitted that most of his votes in Palm Beach County were meant for Al Gore, saying he "did not campaign and bought no advertising there" (Nichols, 2001, p. 86). He added, "I would say 95 to 98 percent of [the votes] were for Gore" (id. at p. 89). The day after the election, many people were upset, saying the butterfly ballot was confusing. When the election results were "too close to call," Buchanan worried he would be charged with costing Gore the election. He said he got more media coverage after the election than he did during the campaign (id. at p. 84). The graph to the left showing an abnormally high Buchanan vote in Palm Beach County suggests the butterfly ballot cost Al Gore thousands of votes, more than enough to have won the presidency.

The "Supreme" Test

The United States Supreme Court voted five to four along party lines to uphold the vote certified by the Florida Secretary of State, Kathleen Harris, declaring George Bush the winner in Florida. Between undercounts and overcounts, that vote count was riddled with inequities. Harris’s role has been sharply criticized because she worked for the Bush campaign, and thus had a direct conflict of interest.

Because varying voting standards were used within different counties, the Florida Supreme Court said it was each county’s responsibility to ensure ballots were treated uniformly. Some counties began a manual recount of the vote. The United States Supreme Court, however, stopped the manual recount altogether by requiring canvassing boards to meet an impossible Electoral College deadline.

In the book The Unfinished Election of 2000 (2001), Pamela S. Karlan wrote, "There is something disquieting about the fact that although the Court focused largely on the claims of excluded voters, the remedy it ordered simply excluded more voters yet" (id. at p. 192). "[N]either Al Gore’s counsel nor the Court ever addressed the threshold question of standing and whose rights were being remedied" (ibid.). As Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in his dissenting opinion, "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this years Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. it is the nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." (Justices Ginsburg and Breyer joined Justice Stevens in his dissenting opinion.)

Florida Voters

Even if none of the factors mentioned above had happened, the votes of Florida voters themselves show that Ralph Nader was not responsible for George W. Bush's presidency.

"Democrats for Bush, Democrats for nobody"

       "Twelve percent of Florida Democrats (over 200,000) voted for Republican George Bush"
                                         -- San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 9, 2000

Even if none of the factors mentioned above had happened, the votes of Florida voters themselves show that Ralph Nader was not responsible for George W. Bush’s presidency. If one percent of these Democrats had stuck with their own candidate, Al Gore would easily have won Florida and become president. In addition, half of all registered Democrats did not even bother going to the polls and voting.

The Final Count

According to the official 2001 Statistics of the Presidential and Congressional Election of November 7, 2000, George W. Bush beat Al Gore in Florida by 543 votes. It is noteworthy that every third-party candidate received enough votes in Florida to have cost Al Gore the election.

Conclusion

Green Party Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader did not work for the Florida Secretary of State, the Palm Beach County Election Commission, the Al Gore campaign committee, or the United States Supreme Court. Yet, he has become a scapegoat among many Democrats for Al Gore’s loss of the 2000 election, and, beyond the election, the person to blame for the resulting policies of George Bush. These diehard Democrats are averse to looking at the failings of their candidate, and they are not blaming voters for failing to vote at all. Instead, they are upset that Ralph Nader did not acquiesce to dropping out of the race as many urged him to do. As a side note, if Al Gore had won his home state of Tennessee, he would have had the necessary Electoral College votes to have won the election and the Florida results would have been irrelevant.

The facts are compelling and undeniable that Ralph Nader is not the reason, and should not be blamed, for George Bush’s victory in the 2000 presidential election.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Election Reform!
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2010, 04:26:13 PM »
Whenever Democratic or Republican party hacks parrot the “wasted vote” mantra, they’re trying to con voters into believing that each individual vote cast for a 3rd party or independent candidate is, by definition, a “wasted" vote, since that candidate has “no chance of winning.”

Think about what this implies.

If you vote for a candidate who supports the very policies you most oppose and opposes the very reforms you most support, and that candidate goes on to win the election, do you “win” as well?

According to the aforementioned hacks, you do!

Yet as any rational person will almost certainly agree, in terms of having your views represented -- which is supposedly the whole point of voting in the first place -- you actually lose. And if that weren’t bad enough, you also lose in terms having the right to complain about anything that candidate does once safely in office, since he or she can always turn to you and add insult to injury by saying: “You're getting exactly what you voted for, so stop whining!”

Another psychological trigger-word that major party hacks love to employ on the brainwashed masses is “spoiler.”

If a Democrat ekes out a victory in three-way race against a Republican and Libertarian, the Pavlovian response from Republican reactionaries is always to accuse the Libertarian candidate of “spoiling” the election. Likewise, if a Republican ekes out a victory in a three-way race against a Democrat and Green, the Pavlovian response from Democratic reactionaries is always to accuse the Green candidate of “spoiling” the election.

For a glaring example of this, one need look no further than the 2000 presidential “election.” In the aftermath of that election, Democratic Party hacks waxed hysterical about how Green Party candidate, Ralph Nader, had “spoiled” the election by “taking” (read: stealing) votes from Al Gore. Their argument was essentially this:

    “Ralph Nader is a spoiler, because if he had respected our divine right to be the only ‘alternative’ to Republican Party candidates, Al Gore would have easily won Florida -- and hence the election.”

This, of course, begs an obvious and -- if you’re a Democrat -- incovenient question: Since Al Gore would easily have won the election if the Republican Party had not fielded a candidate, why aren’t you (Democrats) accusing Bush of being a "spoiler" as well?

The answer is obvious: because Democrats, like their Republican counterparts, have been brainwashed into believing that the two ridiculously corrupt, banker-owned major parties are -- by definition -- the only "viable" options.

Such is the arrogance of the Democrats who hold this absurd belief, they literally think that their party “owns” the vote of every non-Republican in the country. And such is the arrogance of the Republicans who hold the very same belief, they literally think their party “owns” the vote of every non-Democrat in the country.

So, to the countless people out there who, like me, are equally disgusted with both major parties, I hereby propose that our unified message to those parties should be: “Neither of you ‘owns’ our votes. Got that? If a third party or independent candidate gets our votes, it’s NOT because that candidate ‘stole’ those votes, but because your candidate failed to earn them. So if your panties are in a tight little bunch because your guy lost, just remember: that’s your fault for nominating such a shitty candidate, not ours for refusing to waste our votes on him!”
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Election Reform!
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2010, 11:22:41 AM »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/viguerie-forget-third-parties-vote-for-%e2%80%9cprincipled%e2%80%9d-establishment-candidates.html

Viguerie: Forget Third Parties, Vote for “Principled” Establishment Candidates

Kurt Nimmo
Infowars.com
May 15, 2010

Let’s face it. A large number of “conservatives,” in actuality neocons, are mind-numbed ciphers for the establishment Republican Borg collective. This fact was underscored earlier in the week when a poll sponsored by Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman of ConservativeHQ.com, hit the bricks.

The poll reveals overwhelming opposition to a conversion of the Tea Party movement into a political party, according to a Viguerie press release. “The poll of 736 respondents showed only 11.8% thought the Tea Party should become a political party.” Instead, according to Viguerie’s poll, conservatives believe they should eschew third party candidates and vote for establishment Republicans.

“We must run principled conservatives in the primaries and then throw our support behind the most conservative major-party candidates in the general election,” Viguerie wrote for the CIA’s favorite newspaper, the Washington Post, on May 2.

In February, the Republican hijacked Tea Party insisted the troops get behind the Republican platform of endless wars launched on small defenseless countries, never ending debt dedicated to obscene military budgets and bankster bailouts, and obeying an endless stream of diktats issued from on-high by international bankers.

“Republicans lost three Senate seats in 2008 – Ted Stevens in Alaska, Norm Coleman in Minnesota, and Gordon Smith in Oregon – and two seats in 2006 – Jim Talent in Missouri and Conrad Burns in Montana – because of conservative third-party candidates. If these five senators were still in office, there probably would have been no Stimulus Bill and no Obamacare. Conservative third parties almost certainly made these liberal legislative victories possible,” said the veteran direct mail pioneer.

In other words, if you voted for a Libertarian or Constitution Party candidate during the last election, you have only yourself to blame for the appointment of Barry Obama and his Goldman Sachs and Federal Reserve handlers.

Moreover, nearly half of the respondents believe Obama is a Marxist or a socialist. “President Obama is considered to be an extreme left wing radical by almost 92% of the poll respondents, with 46.5% labeling him a Marxist and 45.3% a socialist. Only 4.3% thought he was a liberal.”

Once again, the brainwashing and indoctrination run deep. The far left is traditionally defined as favoring egalitarianism and opposing economic, political and social establishments. The far left is hostile to people associated with a stratified establishment.

In practice, however, the left is controlled by globalist foundations.

Here is a cross section of the top-level Obama line-up:

Timothy Geithner: Bilderberg, Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, president and CEO of Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Paul Volcker: Bilderberg, Council on Foreign Relations, North American chairman of Trilateral Commission, Federal Reserve chairman during Carter and Reagan administrations, and president of Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Larry Summers: Bilderberg, Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, Treasury secretary during Clinton administration, chief economist at World Bank. Hillary Clinton: Bilderberg, Council on Foreign Relations, and Trilateral Commission. Joe Biden: Bilderberg and Council on Foreign Relations. Robert Gates: Bilderberg, Council on Foreign Relations, former CIA Director, and Defense Secretary under Bush the Lesser. Janet Napolitano: Council on Foreign Relations. Gen. James Jones: Bilderberg, Trilateral Commission.

On and on… sound like a gaggle of far leftists and Marxists to you?

Instead we hear about little pip squeaks like Van Jones, Mark Lloyd, and Carl Browner who amount to a hill of beans. Glenn Beck would have you worry about these folks who have absolutely no influence on the bankster policy that runs the federal government in central command fashion no matter the members of the Banker Party that warm seats in the White House and Congress.

Viguerie’s “principled conservatives” will follow orders or end up in compromising situations with prostitutes or will suffer airplane accidents. So-called “principled conservatives” like Ronald Reagan promised a Libertarian Nirvana and once in office delivered a statist hell. History will remember Reagan not for his idealistic oratory but his record deficit (when Reagan took office the nation’s debt was $934.1 billion and when he left it stood at $2.7 trillion, a near tripling). He will be remembered for presiding over Iran-Contra and gangster corruption.

The last time Republicans promised to change the political landscape we ended up with Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America. It promised small government and lower taxes. In did nothing of the sort. It resulted in larger government and most Americans realized increased taxes.

Can you hear the Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” lilting in the background?

Every last member of Congress — with the notable exception of Ron Paul — should be shown the door come November. Libertarians and Constitutionalists must fill the vacancies.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Election Reform!
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2010, 11:46:53 AM »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/viguerie-forget-third-parties-vote-for-%e2%80%9cprincipled%e2%80%9d-establishment-candidates.html

Every last member of Congress — with the notable exception of Ron Paul — should be shown the door come November. Libertarians and Constitutionalists must fill the vacancies.

As countless Ralph Nader supporters will certainly attest, not everyone who opposes such things as imperialist wars of aggression, Nazi-style police state measures and corporate fascist economic policies necessarily subscribes to the Austrian School approach to economics that most of the respective members of the Libertarian and Constitution parties subscribe to.

So I would urge all Nader voters and left-leaning independents to become active in the nearest local affiliate of the Green Party (GP), and that they do so with an aim towards returning the GP to its progressive libertarian roots.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Election Reform!
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2010, 10:29:50 AM »
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0709/S00549.htm

The Money Party
The Essence of our Political Troubles

by Michael Collins
“Scoop” Independent News
September 30, 2007

The Money Party is a small group of enterprises and individuals who have most of the money in this country. They use that money to make more money. Controlling who gets elected to public office is the key to more money for them and less for us. As 2008 approaches, The Money Party is working hard to maintain its perfect record.

It is not about Republicans versus Democrats. Right now, the Republicans do a better job taking money than the Democrats. But The Money Party is an equal opportunity employer. They have no permanent friends or enemies, just permanent interests. Democrats are as welcome as Republicans to this party. It’s all good when you’re on the take and the take is legal.

This is not a conspiracy theory. There are no secret societies or sinister operators. This party is up front and in your face. Just follow the money. One percent of Americans hold 33% of the nation’s wealth. The top 10% hold 72% of the total wealth. The bottom 40% of Americans control only 0.3% (three tenths of one percent). And that was before “pay day loans.”

The story is as old as civilization but the stakes have never been higher than they are right now.

In every campaign for major office, the party passes out money and buys candidates from both parties. Thanks to the candidates who get elected, this pay to play system remains perfectly legal. Those elected get luxury trips, sweet jobs for family members, and more campaign contributions for the next round of elections. What they do is perfectly legal even though it looks like bribery.

In return for contributions, the election winners come through by fixing the laws so that The Money Party cleans up. Lower taxes, highly favorable business regulations, laws that shield their businesses from real competition all start with the nonstop flow of Money Party funds. Cost is no object, because in the end it’s all paid for with our tax dollars.

The Money Party gets no-bid contracts as well as the ability to lay off their employees and dump their pension plans just about any time they want. It doesn’t get much better than that. It's welfare for big money and survival of the fittest for the rest of us.

We are nothing to them.

When the White House and Congress ignore the health care crisis year after year, why be surprised? They’re not in office to serve you. The drug companies and hospitals had their bid in first.

When our public servants fail to get us out of Iraq, don’t take it personally. That will happen when The Money Party says so.

When citizens suffer and starve for days after a hurricane, we’re told they should have been better prepared. When levees and bridges collapse, it's an act of God. But when the fat no-bid contracts show up, The Money Party takes it all.

Unreliable election systems, citizens excluded from the vote on the basis of race and class, and questionable results don’t matter as long as the right candidates get in. We pretend to vote, they pretend to get elected, but there’s no doubt who is in charge - The Money Party.

It’s nothing personal. The party is just doing its job. Why be surprised or disappointed? It’s been happening for centuries. The more some have, the more they want, the harder they fight to keep it. Spread some around so they can get even more. It’s a rigged game from top to bottom.

We let this happen. We can change it. The first step is to name it, and we just did.

The Irish fought for 800 years to win their independence from the world’s most powerful empire. Generations came and went before the goal even seemed possible. They never gave up.

Now it’s our turn.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

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Celente Says Populists Will Break the False Left-Right Political Paradigm
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2010, 01:41:00 PM »
http://www.infowars.com/celente-says-populists-will-break-the-false-left-right-political-paradigm/

Celente Says Populists Will Break the False Left-Right Political Paradigm

Eric Blair
Activist Post
July 7, 2010

Trends Research Institute CEO, Gerald Celente, originally predicted the rise of a third party when he spoke with Libertarian radio talk show host, Alex Jones, in late 2009 and repeated this forecast last week on the same show.


Americans can no longer allow the machine to define us by
the shallow, false Left-Right debate.


Celente described this populist third party as “Progressive Libertarians” who stand for real environmental issues such as non-GMO organic foods, clean water, air, and soil free from corporate pollution, while advocating for alternative health freedoms and economic justice. He coupled this group with the antiwar, “live free or die” Libertarians who principally desire a return to small locally-controlled government with truly free economic markets to form an independent coalition. But is such a populist alliance realistic?

Understandably, the red-blooded Americans in the Liberty Movement are as equally angry as true Progressives, but many are still playing partisan politics with “Obama this” and “Bush that.” Granted, it is easy to blame the party in power for the country’s current woes; and God knows Bush dragged the Republican brand to a new low during his eight infamous years. However, it is now becoming more imperative by the day that this anger be channeled and targeted at the proper perpetrators, while offering proper solutions in order to restore America. Admittedly, it can be difficult to find common ground among the thunderous noise of Limbaugh, Maddow, and the rest of the pundits.

Certainly there is enough blame to go around between the do-nothing, bought-and-paid-for Congress, to the puppet president who has clearly been doing more for Wall Street and Big Oil than for the people who elected him. Amid the perpetual blame-game, both Republicans and Democrats are equally controlled by the same multinational corporate interests whose agenda always moves forward. As George Carlin famously quipped: “It’s one big club, and you ain’t in it.”

Do any of us even know how to define a Liberal or a Conservative these days? After all, in 8 years of a “Conservative” president we saw preemptive interventionist wars and nation building on the backs of the taxpayer, runaway borrowing and spending, and massive growth in government. Meanwhile, the “Liberal” savior Obama continues to expand the wars, torture captives without trials or evidence, and target all forms of free speech. Where it matters most, both political parties cater to Wall Street over Main Street, while working to restrict our Constitutional rights. Fierce populist revolutions have been fought over far less oppression than we see today (see 1776), and yet the generally angry public can’t seem to focus long enough to form a strong common consensus.

Americans can no longer allow the machine to define us by the shallow, false Left-Right debate. In fact, we don’t stand a chance against the current system if we don’t form a coalition with what is most important for us politically. Even if we do agree and get organized, some powerhouse Independents like Jesse Ventura fear that a “legit” third party may have to stoop to the same corrupt level to compete with the “two-headed monster,” because the system seems damaged beyond political redemption. Assuming our Republic can be wrestled back from the multinational corporations and banksters through the political process, it is best to stick to defining principles.

Indeed, the Ron Paul crowd and the Liberal crowd have much in common when it comes to very important issues such as Peace, Auditing the Fed, Individual Liberty, Economic Freedom and Justice, and the Human Rights defined in the U.S. Constitution. After all, it is the Constitution that makes us American, not the Support the Troops stickers or Social Security.

Furthermore, it seems that the stale Left-Right debate should be replaced with a Top-Bottom debate for a real populist movement to take hold. Average Americans are just now beginning to recognize that the coalition that keeps them in servitude crosses both party lines and is directly controlled by unpatriotic multinational corporations. Rage is mounting as citizens increasingly realize that the system has been maliciously designed by an unelected oligarchy with a stated mission to destroy America and consolidate control into a one world government. The enemy is not our neighbor who watches Fox News if we prefer CNN; as all major networks make up the marketing arm of the corrupt system, and are orchestrated to keep us divided long enough to conquer. This is an enemy whose allegiance is to international profits rather than the Constitution, and nearly all politicians are willing accomplices regardless of what color state they represent.

Populists must be cautious as movements can easily be co-opted by the power centers of the two monopoly parties. For example, Neo-Con-in-Prada, Sarah Palin, is attempting to hijack the Tea Party for Republicans; therefore, Progressives are sickened by the sight of them. Meanwhile, Chief of Staff Rahm “Hitman” Emanuel tells the Progressives that they are “f–king stupid” not to swallow Fascist Healthcare. Incidentally, it appears that anyone who tries to regain America for the people is either labeled a radical, or must be jammed into one of the “big tent” political parties. But perhaps this movement will prove to be large enough to transcend petty politics.

As is often the case, another forecast by Gerald Celente may indeed come true as non-establishment candidates are now winning impressively all over the nation. No one can say for sure what this Independent-minded movement may ultimately look like, but it is encouraging to see populist anger being used for something so positive as kicking the corrupt bums out of Washington. This should be viewed as an optimistic sign of a true uprising that will gain traction and define what every American should be fighting for: Independence.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline rustygunn

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Re: Election Reform!
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2010, 06:06:58 AM »
Lookie here...the head of the United States chapter of the International Democrat Union is RNC's own Michael Steele.  That's right, the RNC is leading the US chapter of International Democrat Union!  WTF!!
Click on the United States map.
http://www.idu.org/member.aspx

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Why Americans Elect Awful Presidents
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2010, 10:11:22 AM »
http://www.globalresearch.ca/why-americans-elect-awful-presidents/20890

Why Americans Elect Awful Presidents
A Delusional democracy which favors corporate, wealthy and elitist interests over those of ordinary Americans

by Joel S. Hirschhorn



Global Research
September 4, 2010

For years I muttered mentally to myself about the insanity of Americans electing George W. Bush president. Now I go through the same agony about the craziness of the nation electing Barack Obama president. As much as I thought Bush was a manipulated second-rate politician that carried out the terribly destructive policies pushed by Cheney and other conservative corporate shills, now I feel equally angry that so many voters fell for the slick rhetoric and lies of Obama. Disgust produces public thirst for change and Obama was wickedly brilliant at selling change. When voters are so easily victimized what does democracy amount to?

All this tells me that any nation that can elect such inept people president can also elect other people that appear to have no right or chance to be president of the United States just as Bush and Obama once appeared before they were sold to the public. That is what is so frightening about the future of this nation. The two-party plutocracy with its stranglehold on the American political system has the power to elect presidents that are an insult to the great ones that once served the nation with pride and competence.

I keep searching for explanations why millions of American voters make such bad electoral decisions. Are they just so stupid, uninformed and distracted that they fall for endless political lies? Have Americans become so easily manipulated and fooled by advertising and brilliant political campaigns that they can be sold terrible presidents as easily as unneeded, low quality and unhealthy products?

Yes, all this seems too true. Delusional voters have produced our delusional democracy which strongly favors corporate, wealthy and elitist interests over ordinary Americans. This explains frightening economic inequality and the demise of the middle class. In the late 1970s, the richest 1 percent of American families took in about 9 percent of the nation’s total income; by 2007, the top 1 percent took in 23.5 percent of total income (less than 5 million people). Two-thirds of the nation’s total income gains from 2002 to 2007 flowed to this sliver of households, which saw a rise of 62 percent, compared to 4 percent for the bottom 90 percent of households. Today, the median male worker earns less, adjusted for inflation, than he did 30 years ago. A corrupt bipartisan system gave us this. Is this the change you were waiting for?

Considering Bush and Obama from a right-left perspective misses their several critical commonalities. Both have wasted the nation’s wealth and lives on two ludicrous, unnecessary wars in Iraq and Afghanistan . Both turned out to be pretty good communicators during their presidential campaigns but quite lousy after they became president. The more intelligent and articulate Obama is particularly striking in being totally lackluster when it comes to addressing major issues and crises and building public support for his policies, which now explains his very low approval ratings.

Both pursued public policies and government programs that preferentially benefit corporate and other special interests, especially the financial sector. This is no surprise because both depended on huge amounts of corporate money to get elected. They both have responsibility for the economic meltdown that still exists for a large fraction of the nation. A large majority of Americans correctly see the nation on the wrong track, but more importantly it is hurtling down the wrong track, which President Obama ignores, because he lacks solutions.

What may turn out to be the most disturbing similarity is that Obama may get elected for a second term just like Bush accomplished despite uninspiring performance. If there is anything more disturbing than electing awful politicians with no real record of accomplishments it is reelecting them for a second term! More than anything else this demonstrates the absence of true, effective political competition and the ability to brainwash and manipulate voters.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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New face, same imperialism: Obama no better than Bush
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2010, 03:31:12 PM »
http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/new-face-same-imperialism-20101005-16612.html

New face, same imperialism: Obama no better than Bush

Tariq Ali
The Age
October 6, 2010



After all the hope and hype, Obama's foreign policy mirrors the ugliness of the Bush years.

The election to the presidency of a mixed-race Democrat, vowing to heal America's wounds at home and restore its reputation abroad, was greeted with a wave of ideological euphoria not seen since the days of Kennedy. The shameful interlude of Republican swagger and criminality was over. George Bush and Dick Cheney had broken the continuity of a multilateral American leadership that had served the country well throughout the Cold War and after. Barack Obama would now restore it.

Rarely has self-interested mythology - or well-meaning gullibility - been more quickly exposed. There was no fundamental break in foreign policy between the Bush and Obama regimes. The strategic goals and imperatives of the US imperium remain the same, as do its principal theatres and means of operation.

Obama's line towards Israel would be manifest even before he took office. On December 27, 2008, the Israeli Defence Forces launched an all-out air and ground assault on the population of Gaza. Bombing, burning, killing continued without interruption for 22 days, during which time the president-elect uttered not a syllable of reproof. By pre-arrangement, Tel Aviv called off its blitz a few hours before his inauguration on January 20, 2009, not to spoil the party.

Once installed, Obama called, like every US president, for peace between the two suffering peoples of the Holy Land, and again, like every predecessor, for Palestinians to recognise Israel and for Israel to stop its settlements in the territories it seized in 1967. Within a week of the President's speech in Cairo pledging opposition to further settlements, the governing Netanyahu coalition was extending Jewish properties in East Jerusalem with impunity.

However, war-zones further east have the first call on imperial attention. In 2002, on his way up the political ladder as a low-profile state senator in Illinois, Obama opposed the attack on Iraq; it was politically inexpensive to do so. By the time he was elected President, his first act was to maintain Bush's Defence Secretary, Robert Gates, long-time CIA functionary and veteran of the Iran-Contra affair, in the Pentagon. A cruder and more demonstrative signal of political continuity could hardly have been conceived.

Before his election, Obama promised a withdrawal of all US ''combat'' troops from Iraq within 16 months of his taking office, that is, by May 2010 - with a safety clause that the pledge could be ''refined'' in the light of events. It promptly was.

There persists the uneasy thought that the Iraqi resistance, capable of inflicting such damage on the US military machine only yesterday, might just be biding its time after its heavy losses and the defection of an important segment, and could still visit havoc on the collaborators tomorrow, should the US pull out altogether. To ensure against any such danger, Washington has put down markers in the modern equivalents - vastly larger and more hideous - of the Crusader fortresses of old.

As for Iran, schemes for a grand reconciliation between the two states had to be set aside. The calculation was upset by political polarisation in Iran itself. For Obama, the opportunity for ideological posturing was too great to resist. In a peerless display of sanctimony, he lamented with moist-eyed grief the death of a demonstrator killed in Tehran on the same day his drones wiped out 60 villagers, most of them women and children, in Pakistan.

The Democratic administration has now reverted to the line of its predecessor, attempting to corral Russia and China - European acquiescence can be taken for granted - into an economic blockade of Iran, in the hope of so strangling the country that the Supreme Leader will either be overthrown or obliged to come to terms.

From Palestine through Iraq to Iran, Obama has acted as just another steward of the US empire, pursuing the same aims as his predecessors, with the same means but with a more emollient rhetoric. In Afghanistan, he has gone further, widening the front of imperial aggression with a major escalation of violence, both technological and territorial.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

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Establishment Repubs Poised to Take Control of House from Establishment Dems
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2010, 04:27:56 PM »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/establishment-republicans-poised-to-take-control-of-house-from-establishment-democrats.html

Establishment Republicans Poised to Take Control of House from Establishment Democrats

Kurt Nimmo
Prison Planet.com
Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Desperate to turn the tide rising against Obama and the Democrats, Ryan Rudominer, a DCCC spokesman, told Politico the ranks of resurgent Republicans include candidates with ties to organized crime, a Nazi enthusiast, and one being sued for attempted rape and sexual assault.

“So for all the Republicans’ popping the champagne and the countless millions spent in secret funds from shady right wing groups, they haven’t been able to close the deal in their targeted races, and that’s why Democrats will win,” Rudominer confidently boasted.

The non-partisan Cook Political Report, however, predicts a GOP net gain of at least 40 House seats, with 90 Democratic seats in total rated as competitive or likely Republican. The number of Democrats in danger is more than double the 39 seats Republicans need to seize control of the House, Politico notes.

Former Clintonite Labor Secretary Robert Reich says the government is about to be taken over by a Tea Party funded by the Koch Brothers and the John Birch Society. Reich laments the death of “democracy” in America and points to the machinations of Fred Malek, Kark Rove, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “We’re back to the late 19th century when the lackeys of robber barons literally deposited sacks of cash on the desks of friendly legislators,” writes Reich, who endorsed Obama and his cabinet teeming with Goldman Sachs cronies. “We’re losing our democracy to a different system. It’s called plutocracy,” warns Reich.

It should be noted that Fred Malek is a member of the Council On Foreign Relations. He is a former assistant to Nixon and George H.W. Bush and supports Sarah Palin, who courted the support of Henry Kissinger. Reich’s former boss, Bill Clinton, is also a member and is also connected to the Trilateral Commission and the Bilderberg Group. Clinton had around a hundred CFR members in his administration.

Reich’s boss passed NAFTA and sent thousands of jobs overseas to slave labor gulags, but this is not mentioned as he rants about the decimation of the middle class and the loss of democracy, actually a loss of a constitutionally limited republic.

Clinton’s mentor, the globalist Carroll Quigley, would have likely called Mr. Reich a doctrinaire and academic thinker who believes there is a difference between Democrats and Republicans.

“The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic thinkers,” Quigley wrote. “Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can throw the rascals out at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy. Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party, which will be none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies.”

In November, when a tidal wave of Republicans replace the current crop of Democrats, the same policies now in effect will continue unabated.

Even Rush Limbaugh, who made a career denying the influence of the CFR and the Bilderbergers, understands that Republicans will continue the work of the Democrats. Both sides work for the banksters and the job is to continually fool the American people into supporting the establishment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLNZQW6960A (Rush - Establishment Republicans Have No Intention Of Stopping Obama's Agenda)
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

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Re: Election Reform!
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2010, 11:54:26 AM »
I agree with Jesse Ventura that things will never change for the better in this country until people stop voting for Democrats and Republicans.

The corporate whore "news" media generally ignore 3rd party and independent candidates, and thereby give the non-reading, TV-watching masses the false illusion that they only have two candidates to "choose" from even when there are in fact three or more candidates on the ballot.

To learn what the partisan hacks and intellectual gatekeepers in the corporate media don't want you to know about in terms of what your actual options are, see the following:

       http://politics1.com/states.htm
       http://www.votesmart.org/index.htm
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Protean

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Re: Election Reform!
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2010, 12:14:20 PM »

Yep--I voted 3rd party in the last national election and everyone I met said the same thing "You don't seriously expect your candidate to win?"

Most people vote with the herd mentality: who is the most popular candidate? who are most people going to vote for?

And------------their TV tells them who: choice A or choice B.

So-------------they vote for the A or B choice candidate.

"If" most people would decide for themselves, instead of letting peer pressure and TV pressure decide for them--we would have many choices of C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-...3rd party candidates in government and REAL dialogue in governance.

Currently the MSM/TV is selling why Republicans are coming back AND those same sheep that voted for McCain or Soetoro are ripe and ready to be duped again.

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American Democracy: Despair Follows Delusion
« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2010, 01:32:08 PM »
http://www.globalresearch.ca/american-democracy-despair-follows-delusion/21755

American Democracy: Despair Follows Delusion

by Joel S. Hirschhorn



Global Research
November 3, 2010

Despite all the hype and rhetoric, only one impact of the midterm elections is assured.  Notwithstanding power shifts from Democrats to Republicans in Congress there will not be any deep, sorely needed true reforms of our corrupt, dysfunctional and inefficient government.  The culture of corruption in Washington, DC will remain.  Hundreds of millions of dollars from corporate and other special interests will assure that.

Voters who think otherwise are either delusional or stupid.  It will not matter whether you voted for Republicans because you wanted to defeat Democrats (or vice-versa), or whether you voted for Tea Party candidates, or whether you voted against incumbents, or whether you voted for what you believe are lesser-evil candidates.  Americans lost however they voted, but it may take time for most to comprehend that.  That is a terribly painful reality, which is why many who chose to vote will resist facing the ugly truth.

When it comes to politics in America , delusion and stupidity are rampant, like a terrible epidemic that has killed brain cells.  Several billion dollars were spent selling candidates this year.  Who profited?  The many media outlets that received the advertising bonanza and companies that supplied mailings, posters and automatic phone calls.  At least all that spending was kept domestic.

Yes, you are thinking that this is the most cynical view possible.  Cynicism beats delusion.  I recommend it.

This is what American history tells us.  Americans have been brainwashed and tricked into thinking that elections are crucial for maintaining American democracy.  That is exactly what the two-party plutocracy needs to maintain their self-serving political system and that is also what the rich and powerful Upper Class wants to preserve their status.  But voting in a corrupt political system no longer sustains democracy.  It only sustains the corrupt political system that makes a mockery of American democracy.  Think about it.

In the months following this election, when unemployment and economic pain for all but the rich remain awful, anyone who pays attention and is able to face the truth will see that there is little chance of genuine government reforms.  Nor will any of the nation’s severe fiscal and spending problems be smartly attacked.  The Republicans will blame the Democrats, the Democrats will blame the Republicans, the Tea Party winners will blame the system, the radio and cable pundits will blabber endlessly, and Jon Stewart and other comics will have an abundance of material to take jabs at.  The two-party plutocracy will triumph.

Every member of Congress will, as before, spend most of their time and energy doing what is necessary to win the next election.  The army of lobbyists will be busier than ever legally bribing politicians to sustain the successful political strategy of the rich and business sector to make the rich and superrich still richer at the expense of the middle class.  Anyone who thinks that winner Republicans will work to overturn economic inequality is stupid or delusional.  A disproportionate and ludicrous fraction of the nation’s income and wealth will go to a tiny fraction of rich and superrich Americans.  Nothing that President Obama or the Democrats have done or championed was aimed squarely at reversing economic inequality and the death of the middle class, which by itself justified defeating them.

President Obama, of course, will continue his self-serving rhetoric with the sole goal of winning reelection in 2012.  The presidency just made him destructively delusional.  Of course he will speak about working with Republicans.  Wait and see.

Here is what non-delusional Americans can hope for: Maybe a decent third party presidential candidate will emerge.  Maybe the Tea Party movement will wake up to the reality that electing Republicans is a terrible strategy for reforming the government and restoring the health of the nation and shift their interest to forming a third party.  I doubt very much whether any of the Tea Party winners in Congress will stand up and aggressively work for and demand true reforms.  The new Republican Speaker of the House is a classic establishment Republican.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

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The Impotence of Elections
« Reply #18 on: November 04, 2010, 12:10:48 PM »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/the-impotence-of-elections.html

The Impotence of Elections

Paul Craig Roberts
Prisonplanet.com
Nov 4, 2010

In his historical novel, The Leopard, Giuseppe di Lampedusa writes that things have to change in order to remain the same. That is what happened in the US congressional elections on November 2.

Jobs offshoring, which began on a large scale with the collapse of the Soviet Union, has merged the Democrats and Republicans into one party with two names. The Soviet collapse changed attitudes in socialist India and communist China and opened those countries, with their large excess supplies of labor, to Western capital.

Pushed by Wall Street and Wal-Mart, American manufacturers moved production for US markets offshore to boost profits and shareholder earnings by utilizing cheap labor. The decline of the US manufacturing work force reduced the political power of unions and the ability of unions to finance the Democratic Party. The end result was to make the Democrats dependent on the same sources of financing as Republicans.

Prior to this development, the two parties, despite their similarities, represented different interests and served as a check on one another. The Democrats represented labor and focused on providing a social safety net. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, unemployment insurance, housing subsidies, education, and civil rights were Democratic issues. Democrats were committed to a full employment policy and would accept some inflation to secure more employment.

The Republicans represented business. The Republicans focused on curtailing big government in all its manifestations from social welfare spending to regulation. The Republicans’ economic policy consisted of opposing federal budget deficits.

These differences resulted in political competition.

Today both parties are dependent for campaign finance on Wall Street, the military/security complex, AIPAC, the oil industry, agri-business, pharmaceuticals, and the insurance industry. Campaigns no longer consist of debates over issues. They are mud-slinging contests.

Angry voters take their anger out on incumbents, and that is what we saw in the election. Tea Party candidates defeated Republican incumbents in primaries, and Republicans defeated Democrats in the congressional elections.

Policies, however, will not change qualitatively. Quantitatively, Republicans will be more inclined to more rapidly dismantle more of the social safety net than Democrats and more inclined to finish off the remnants of civil liberties. But the powerful private oligarchs will continue to write the legislation that Congress passes and the President signs. New members of Congress will quickly discover that achieving re-election requires bending to the oligarchs’ will.

This might sound harsh and pessimistic. But look at the factual record. In his campaign for the presidency, George W. Bush criticized President Clinton’s foreign adventures and vowed to curtail America’s role as the policeman of the world. Once in office, Bush pursued the neoconservatives’ policy of US world hegemony via military means, occupation of countries, setting up puppet governments, and financial intervention in other countries’ elections.

Obama promised change. He vowed to close Guantanamo prison and to bring the troops home. Instead, he restarted the war in Afghanistan and started new wars in Pakistan and Yemen, while continuing Bush’s policy of threatening Iran and encircling Russia with military bases.

Americans out of work, out of income, out of homes and prospects, and out of hope for their children’s careers are angry. But the political system offers them no way of bringing about change. They can change the elected servants of the oligarchs, but they cannot change the policies or the oligarchs.

The American situation is dire. As a result of the high speed Internet, the loss of manufacturing jobs was followed by the loss of professional service jobs, such as software engineering, that were career ladders for American university graduates. The middle class has no prospects. Already, the American labor force and income distribution mimics that of a third world country, with income and wealth concentrated in a few hands at the top and most of the rest of the population employed in domestic services jobs. In recent years net new job creation has been concentrated in lowly paid occupations, such as waitresses and bartenders, ambulatory health care services, and retail clerks. The population and new entrants into the work force continue to grow more rapidly than job opportunities.

Turning this around would require more realization than exists among policymakers and a deeper crisis. Possibly it could be done by using taxation to encourage US corporations to manufacture domestically the goods and services that they sell in US markets. However, the global corporations and Wall Street would oppose this change.

The tax revenue loss from job losses, bank bailouts, stimulus programs, and the wars have caused a three-to-four-fold jump in the US budget deficit. The deficit is now too large to be financed by the trade surpluses of China, Japan, and OPEC. Consequently, the Federal Reserve is making massive purchases of Treasury and other debt. The continuation of these purchases threatens the dollar’s value and its role as reserve currency. If the dollar is perceived as losing that role, flight from dollars will devastate the remnants of Americans’ retirement incomes and the ability of the US government to finance itself.

Yet, the destructive policies continue. There is no re-regulation of the financial industry, because the financial industry will not allow it. The unaffordable wars continue, because they serve the profits of the military/security complex and promote military officers into higher ranks with more retirement pay. Elements within the government want to send US troops into Pakistan and into Yemen. War with Iran is still on the table. And China is being demonized as the cause of US economic difficulties.

Whistleblowers and critics are being suppressed. Military personnel who leak evidence of military crimes are arrested. Congressmen call for their execution. Wikileaks’ founder is in hiding, and neoconservatives write articles calling for his elimination by CIA assassination teams. Media outlets that report the leaks apparently have been threatened by Pentagon chief Robert Gates. According to Antiwar.com, on July 29 Gates “insisted that he would not rule out targeting Wikileaks founder Julian Assange or any of the myriad media outlets which reported on the leaks.”

The control of the oligarchs extends to the media. The Clinton administration permitted a small number of mega-corporations to concentrate the US media in a few hands. Corporate advertising executives, not journalists, control the new American media, and the value of the mega-companies depends on government broadcast licenses. The media’s interest is now united with that of the government and the oligarchs.

On top of all the other factors that have made American elections meaningless, voters cannot even get correct information from the media about the problems that they and the country face.

As the economic situation is likely to continue deteriorating, the anger will grow. But the oligarchs will direct the anger away from themselves and toward the vulnerable elements of the domestic population and “foreign enemies.”
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

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Election Over, Neocon Republicans Talk War
« Reply #19 on: November 04, 2010, 12:34:49 PM »
http://www.infowars.com/election-over-neocon-republicans-talk-war/

Election Over, Neocon Republicans Talk War

Kurt Nimmo
Infowars.com
November 4, 2010

It is time to get down to business now that Republicans are flush with victory. You’d think that business would be dismantling Obamacare or moving to outlaw the Federal Reserve. For establishment Republicans and their neocon buddies, however, the first item on the agenda is to make sure the war agenda moves forward.

Hours after the Republicans realized their historic victory, U.S. Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, who is the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, wasted little time revealing the “broad vision for national defense policy that emphasizes winning the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq while also investing in the capabilities and force structure necessary to protect the United States from threats of tomorrow,” according to The Santa Clarita Valley Signal.


Buck McKeon promised to take the forever war agenda into the
112th Congress.


McKeon was elected as Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee in 2009 and is looking for the chairmanship of the committee for the 112th Congress. The United States House Committee on Armed Services is responsible for funding and oversight of the Department of Defense and the United States armed forces.

McKeon and the neocon Republicans want to sock your kids and grand kids into the misery of eternal debt in order to pay for the invasions of small backwater countries where there are recalcitrant Muslims who have problems with international banksters and world government organizations running every minute detail of their lives.

“Our citizens have spoken, and they want a defense budget that is sufficient to address the challenges of today and the threats of tomorrow,” McKeon said. “One percent real growth in the base defense budget over the next five years is a net reduction for modernization efforts which are critical to protecting our nation’s homeland” from dazed and confused underwear and stupendously inept barbeque grill canister non-bombers.

Mr. McKeon promised to take the forever war agenda into the 112th Congress, but also said “there is still work to be completed this year,” namely passing a National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 “that is not weighed down by the current majority’s social agenda items,” or for that matter the demands of millions of Americans who told the Republicans they want fiscal responsibility from the government and a return to the constitutional principles the country was founded upon, including the cherished principle of noninterventionism as spelled out by George Washington.

“As many frustrated Americans who have joined the Tea Party realize, we cannot stand against big government at home while supporting it abroad,” wrote Ron Paul in August. “We cannot talk about fiscal responsibility while spending trillions on occupying and bullying the rest of the world. We cannot talk about the budget deficit and spiraling domestic spending without looking at the costs of maintaining an American empire of more than 700 military bases in more than 120 foreign countries. We cannot pat ourselves on the back for cutting a few thousand dollars from a nature preserve or an inner-city swimming pool at home while turning a blind eye to a Pentagon budget that nearly equals those of the rest of the world combined.”

“A return to the traditional U.S. foreign policy of active private engagement but government noninterventionism is the only alternative that can restore our moral and fiscal health,” said Paul.

If the attitude of Buck McKeon and the establishment Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee are any indication, it looks like the neocons will rule the roost under Republican control of Congress and it will be business as usual.

In addition to the never-ending wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, we can look forward to new manufactured conflicts in Pakistan, Yemen, and elsewhere.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

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Widespread Public Anger: Voting out incumbents. It Didn't Happen
« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2010, 09:43:39 AM »
http://www.globalresearch.ca/widespread-public-anger-voting-out-incumbents-it-didn-t-happen/22009

Widespread Public Anger: Voting out incumbents. It Didn't Happen

by Joel S. Hirschhorn
Global Research
November 19, 2010

Americans Voted: Few Incumbent Bums Out

For some years a number of groups have been advocating voting out incumbents in Congress, both the House and the Senate, as a path to reform and improve the US political system. You might have thought that with this year’s incredible widespread public anger with both major parties and the remarkably low confidence level in Congress this anti-incumbency movement would have scored a huge victory. It did not happen.

Even more surprising, perhaps, because for many months before the elections there was endless media predictions that incumbents were at risk of losing their seats, which was backed up by hundreds of polls showing historical high levels of voter dissatisfaction with Congress.

Over at voidnow.org one of the oldest and vocal anti-incumbency groups there is this delusional chest-beating good news: “Congratulations Vote Out Incumbents voters. 15 Senate Incumbents stepped down or lost, and only 25 Senators sought reelection. 57 House incumbents lost, and 37 chose not to run again. (91 House Incumbents gone, 21.6%).”

Apparently delusion rules within this movement. First of all, no credit should be given for those members who decided not to run for reelection. What level of reelection rate should be considered a big victory? I would be impressed if that rate was 50 percent or less, because typical reelection rates have very high. For example, according to data at Open Secrets, it was 88 percent in 1992 and 94 percent for 2006 and 2008 for the House. In the Senate it was 79 percent in 2006 and 83 percent in 2008.

At the Rundown blog from the PBS Newshour a far more accurate account was given for this year’s midterm elections. In the House 53 members lost their (this does not count members who quit, ran for higher office or lost their primary) in 2010. But that is still just 13 percent of House incumbents who ran for office and lost – meaning that 87 percent seeking office were reelected. Note that in 27 House races, voters had no choice because only one candidate was on the ballot.

Interestingly, this reelection result was predicted before the election by professor John Sides who found a statistically valid correlation between past reelection rates and Gallup poll results on the percentage of voters rejecting their own Representatives. Even when that dissatisfaction rate rose to 40 percent this year, a high reelection rate resulted. In fact, that correlation indicates that even if 100 percent of voters rejected incumbents, the vast majority would still be reelected!

In the Senate, where incumbent loses are more common, only four incumbent Senators running for reelection lost their seats. That produced a 90 percent reelection rate.

What do we see? The House reelection rate was down slightly from recent years while the rate in the Senate was higher. To be crystal clear, out of 435 seats, 351 incumbents will be returning to the House in January, according to one analysis. In the Senate, out of 100 seats, 77 incumbents will return in January. Does that sound like some revolution happened this year? And note how incumbent, establishment members will be running both the majorities and minorities in both the House and Senate.

I conclude that the anti-incumbency movement ought to fold up and close down; it has proved to be a totally ineffective movement and strategy to reform the abysmal US government system.

Why has the anti-incumbency movement failed? There are multiple reasons, including: the stupidity of voters who succumb to all the campaign lies and rhetoric from both major parties, the way House districts are gerrymandered to favor one party or the other, the lack of voting by the most fed up citizens, voting for lesser-evil candidates, the inability of third parties to mount really effective campaigns, enormous financial backing of incumbents by many special interests, and the decision by the Tea Party movement to back only Republican candidates rather than third party candidates.

Welcome back to the reality of America’s delusional democracy where career politicians will continue to foster a corrupt, inefficient and dysfunctional government because that is what the two-party plutocracy and its supporters want for their own selfish reasons.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

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The Left Has Nowhere to Go
« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2011, 02:45:32 PM »
http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-left-has-nowhere-to-go/22637

The Left Has Nowhere to Go

by Chris Hedges



Global Research, January 4, 2011
truthdig.com  

     "Either we begin to practice a fierce moral autonomy and rise up in multiple acts of physical defiance that have no discernable short-term benefit, or we accept the inevitability of corporate slavery. The choice is that grim."

 Ralph Nader in a CNN poll a few days before the 2008 presidential election had an estimated 3 percent of the electorate, or about 4 million people, behind his candidacy. But once the votes were counted, his support dwindled to a little over 700,000. Nader believes that many of his supporters entered the polling booth and could not bring themselves to challenge the Democrats and Barack Obama. I suspect Nader is right. And this retreat is another example of the lack of nerve we must overcome if we are going to battle back against the corporate state. A vote for Nader or Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney in 2008 was an act of defiance. A vote for Obama and the Democrats was an act of submission. We cannot afford to be submissive anymore.

    “The more outrageous the Republicans become, the weaker the left becomes,” Nader said when I reached him at his home in Connecticut on Sunday. “The more outrageous they become, the more the left has to accept the slightly less outrageous corporate Democrats.”

Nader fears a repeat of the left’s cowardice in the next election, a cowardice that has further empowered the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party, maintained the role of the Democratic Party as a lackey for corporations, and accelerated the reconfiguration of the country into a neo-feudalist state. Either we begin to practice a fierce moral autonomy and rise up in multiple acts of physical defiance that have no discernable short-term benefit, or we accept the inevitability of corporate slavery. The choice is that grim.

The age of the practical is over. It is the impractical, those who stand fast around core moral imperatives, figures like Nader or groups such as Veterans for Peace, which organized the recent anti-war rally in Lafayette Park in Washington, which give us hope. If you were one of the millions who backed down in the voting booth in 2008, don’t do it again. If you were one of those who thought about joining the Washington protests against the war where 131 of us were arrested and did not, don’t fail us next time.

The closure of the mechanisms within the power system that once made democratic reform possible means we stand together as the last thin line of defense between a civil society and its disintegration. If we do not engage in open acts of defiance, we will empower a radical right-wing opposition that will replicate the violence and paranoia of the state. To refuse to defy in every way possible the corporate state is to be complicit in our strangulation.

“The left has nowhere to go,” Nader said. “Obama knows it. The corporate Democrats know it. There will be criticism by the left of Obama this year and then next year they will all close ranks and say ‘Do you want Mitt Romney? Do you want Sarah Palin? Do you want Newt Gingrich?’ It’s very predictable. There will be a year of criticism and then it will all be muted. They don’t understand that even if they do not have any place to go, they ought to fake it. They should fake going somewhere else or staying home to increase the receptivity to their demands. But because they do not make any demands, they are complicit with corporate power.

    “Corporate power makes demands all the time,” Nader went on. “It pulls on the Democrats and the Republicans in one direction. By having this nowhere-to-go mentality and without insisting on demands as the price of your vote, or energy to get out the vote, they have reduced themselves to a cipher. They vote. The vote totals up. But it means nothing.”

There is no major difference between a McCain administration, a Bush and an Obama administration. Obama, in fact, is in many ways worse. McCain, like Bush, exposes the naked face of corporate power. Obama, who professes to support core liberal values while carrying out policies that mock these values, mutes and disempowers liberals, progressives and leftists. Environmental and anti-war groups, who plead with Obama to address their issues, are little more than ineffectual supplicants.

Obama, like Bush and McCain, funds and backs our unending and unwinnable wars. He does nothing to halt the accumulation of the largest deficits in human history. The drones murder thousands of civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as they did under Bush and would have done under McCain. The private military contractors, along with the predatory banks and investment houses, suck trillions out of the U.S. Treasury as efficiently under Obama. Civil liberties, including habeas corpus, have not been restored. The public option is dead. The continuation of the Bush tax cuts, adding some $900 billion to the deficit, along with the reduction of individual contributions to Social Security, furthers a debt peonage that will be the excuse to privatize Social Security, slash social services and break the back of public service unions. Obama does not intercede as tens of millions of impoverished Americans face foreclosures and bankruptcies. The Democrats provide better cover. But the corporate assault is the same.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

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Re: The Left Has Nowhere to Go
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2011, 03:07:27 PM »
Oh, just wait till the Rothschild-Bernanke Ponzi Bomb implodes, the RepublicRATs and Likudnik Rothschild Mafiosi will be praying for a return to a nice pleasant old softy like FDR, but will, should they even survive, have to settle for another Lincoln.

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Republicans Move to Make "PATRIOT" Act Permanent
« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2011, 03:03:47 PM »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/republicans-move-to-make-patriot-act-permanent.html

Republicans Move to Make PATRIOT Act Permanent

Kurt Nimmo
Prison Planet.com
Friday, February 4, 2011

Freshly emboldened by their mid-term congressional wins, establishment Republicans are set to extend the unconstitutional police state Patriot Act. It is set to expire in three weeks and Republicans are eager to make sections of the legislation permanent.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ieX2BnPwPk (Patriot Act Update)

On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee postponed a vote to continue and extend the law. “Having this debate year after year offers little certainty to agents utilizing these provisions to keep the nation safe,” said ranking member Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.

“Short-term reauthorizations lead to operational uncertainty and compliance and reporting problems if the reauthorization occurs too close to expiration,” Grassley continued. “If these provisions are necessary, we should provide more certainty rather than simply revisiting the law year after year given the indefinite threat we face from acts of terrorism, and that looks like decades ahead. We should permanently reauthorize the three expiring provisions.”

Grassley, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Intelligence Committee Ranking Republican Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., will introduce legislation to make the measures permanent.

[Continued...]


Thanks a bunch, lesser-evil voters!  ::)
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

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Obama Signs Patriot Act Extension
« Reply #24 on: February 26, 2011, 10:40:00 AM »
Thanks a bunch, lesser-evil voters!  ::)

http://www.infowars.com/obama-signs-patriot-act-extension/

Obama Signs Patriot Act Extension

New York Post
February 26, 2011

WASHINGTON – President Obama yesterday signed a three-month extension of the Patriot Act’s surveillance provisions.

One aspect of the 2001 law lets law enforcement set roving wiretaps to monitor multiple communication devices.

Another lets officials ask a special court for access to business and library records deemed relevant to a terrorist threat.

A third grants the FBI the right to keep tabs on non-Americans not known to be tied to specific terrorist groups.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

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Re: Why Americans Elect Awful Presidents
« Reply #25 on: March 03, 2011, 01:26:51 PM »
http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=20890

Why Americans Elect Awful Presidents

Why do Americans elect such awful Presidents? For the same reason they elect so many awful Congressmen, Senators and Governors: because they refuse to ask the right questions. Allow me to explain.

I think most of those reading this would agree that there's a world of difference between "being your own leader" and being a cheerleader for someone else. And most people, unfortunately, are always looking for excuses to be the latter, that way they can go on treating politics as just another spectator sport. But in doing so, they ignore

(a) the fact that feel-good platitudes designed to elicit cheers and applause from the already-converted are no substitute for specific ideas on how key governmental policies can actually be made conducive to securing a truly just, prosperous and free society;

(b) the fact that, although ideas themselves are indeed bullet proof, the political leaders who espouse them are not; and

(c) the consequential fact that, the more a nonviolent revolution is driven by the force of a particular person's popularity instead of by the force of ideas, the easier it is for the banker-owned political establishment to neutralize that revolution through either character assassination or -- if the political leader in question becomes too popular and/or advocates policy reforms too threatening to the institutionalized privileges of the parasitic ruling class -- literal assassination (as the anti-war followers of RFK and MLK all found out the hard way).

Now, that's not to say that an idea-driven nonviolent revolution is incompatible with supporting and promoting a particular candidate, just that the latter must be a mere supplement of, rather than substitute for, the former.

With regard to elections, aside from institutionalized election-rigging, the primary reason why establishment Democrats and establishment Republicans continue to get elected -- even when there are third party candidates on the ballot -- is that voters continually ask the wrong questions.

Instead of openly asking where the candidate in question actually stands on key issues, most voters -- both liberal and conservative alike -- silently ask to themselves meaningless questions such as...

* Does this candidate seem like someone I'd like to have a beer with?

* Does he pay lip service to preserving and defending the Constitution?

* Does he pay lip service to the importance of "freedom" and "liberty"?

* Does he pay lip service to the importance of feeling "safe" from evil terrorists?

* Does he pay lip service to the need for "change"?

* Is he able to read from a teleprompter more skillfully and articulately than his main opponent?

And so on and so forth, ad nauseum.

Corporate-whore Republicans like George Bush and corporate-whore Democrats like Barack Obama have repeatedly proven that they're able to answer such questions to the satisfaction of the easily-duped voters who ask them.  This is why our government continues to be a government of, by and for parasitic robber barons instead of a government of, by and for "the people," and hence why things continue to get worse and worse regardless of which of the two banker-owned major parties is in charge.

Bottom line: an answer is only as good as the question that elicited it, so if either corporate-whore Democrats or corporate-whore Republicans seem like the "answer" on election day, then we're asking the wrong damn questions!

Thus, if the American people are truly interested in changing things for the better, they must start asking better questions. It's as simple as that.

Instead of asking, "Is this someone I'd like to have a beer with?" or, "Does this candidate pay lip service to empty platitudes about liberty?" we must ask, "Does he advocate the right policy positions?"

To get a more specific idea of what I mean, here are the questions I ask when assessing a particular candidate:

On election reform, does this candidate support or oppose the reform measures listed at the beginning of this thread?

On monetary reform, does this candidate support or oppose

-- putting all derivatives-infected mega-banks through Chapter 11 bankruptcy and, in the reorganization proceedings, wiping out all derivatives;

-- liquidating all of the ill-gotten assets of criminal scam artists such as Henry Paulson and Bernard Madoff, and using the resultant proceeds to help replenish whatever retirement funds they raided;

-- replacing our current debt-based money system with a debt-free "Greenback" money system, whereby all new money -- instead of being loaned into circulation at interest -- is spent in at no interest; and

-- instituting a new round of international agreements modeled on the Bretton Woods Accords, with an aim towards replacing the current “floating” exchange rates for national currencies with a fixed rate that, as such, is pegged to the value of either an agreed-upon standardized price index or an agreed-upon “basket” of diverse, widely available, everyday commodities?

On foreign policy reform, does this candidate support or oppose

-- bringing an immediate end to our imperialist, terroristic, hornets' nest-stirring wars of aggression; and

-- abolishing the CIA?

On civil liberties, does this candidate support or oppose

-- repealing the "Patriot" Act;
-- repealing the Homeland "Security" Act;
-- repealing the Military Commissions Act;
-- repealing Presidential Directive 51;
-- repealing the Establishment of the Council of Governors; and
-- abolishing FEMA?

On national sovereignty, does this candidate support or oppose

-- withdrawing the U.S. from both NAFTA and the WTO; and

-- enacting the American Sovereignty Restoration Act?

On drug policy reform, does this candidate support or oppose

-- ending the drug war (and with it all of the corruption, hypocrisy and police state thuggery it breeds); and

-- abolishing the DEA?

On gun control, does this candidate support or oppose

-- repealing all federal gun control laws; and

-- abolishing the BATFE?

On health care reform, does this candidate support or oppose

-- repealing Obama's corporate fascist health care "reform" bill;

-- relegalizing alternative medicine;

-- making health insurance tax deductible (so long as there's an income tax) for individuals as it already is for business owners;

-- revoking bogus or overextended drug patents granted to Big Pharma for either "me-too" drugs or drugs developed primarily at taxpayer expense; and

-- informing the masses of the extent to which corporate-whore politicians from both major parties have precipitated a tremendous artificial surge in the need for health care services by either imposing or green-lighting such things as tainted vaccines, aspartame, GMO foods and flouridated water supplies, and by turning a blind eye to the endless regulatory violations of politically-connected factory farms (i.e., "Big Agri") while throwing the book at small family farms for even the smallest and pettiest of infractions?

On energy policy, does this candidate support or oppose

-- using antitrust action to break up the oil cartel;

-- educating the masses about the manufactured myth of "peak oil";

-- assuming public ownership of any and all domestic refineries that Big Oil shut down to create artificial scarcity, and bringing them up to full production in order to alleviate our dependence on foreign oil; and

-- revoking any and all patents purchased by the competition-hating oil cartel for alternative energy technologies currently not in use?

On environmental policy, does this candidate support or oppose

-- educating the public about ClimateGate, about the manufactured myth of man-made global warming, and about how Al Gore and his corporate cronies have been attempting to exploit this myth as a means of extorting billions if not trillions of dollars from the American people via the fraudulent "carbon tax" scheme;

-- passing stricter laws against the use of depleted uranium, and arresting and criminally prosecuting all former and current U.S. officials who violated international law by authorizing the use of depleted uranium in such countries as Iraq and Afghanistan;

-- levying a severance tax on oil extraction and devoting part of the resultant revenue to equipping all federal buildings with solar panels, and the rest to an Alaskan-style oil dividend; and

-- shifting the tax burden to the greatest extent possible off labor and capital and onto the economic rent of land, so as to alleviate (among other things) urban sprawl, and with it both (a) oil-wasting, carbon monoxide-spewing traffic congestion, and (b) excess deforestation?

On education policy, does this candidate support or oppose

-- eliminating federal involvement in so-called "education" and passing the tens of billions in savings onto the bottom 90% of income earners?

On the issue of "terrorism" and "national security," does this candidate support or oppose

-- sponsoring and promoting a nationally televised airing of (a) all of the admitted cases of false flag terror attacks orchestrated at least in part by U.S. officials, (b) all of the evidence pointing towards 9/11 being an inside job, and (c) all of the evidence pointing towards U.S. government involvement in any other acts of terrorism (e.g., the "underwear bomber");

-- arresting and criminally prosecuting any current or former high-level U.S. official who has admitted to authorizing torture, and/or for whom there is incriminating evidence of being either a participant in a false flag terror attack or an accomplice after the fact;

-- passing a federal law specifically against false flag terrorism in all its guises and variants, with the mandatory penalty for conviction being life in a maximum security prison without possibility of parole for any military person ranked Colonel or higher, and for any U.S. official who (at the time of the offense) either served as President or was seven or less heartbeats away from the Presidency; and

-- enforcing U.S. immigration laws, while continually reminding those obsessed with political correctness that doing so will in no way apply to the hundreds of thousands of Mexicans who immigrate here legally every year, and that Mexico's restrictions on immigration are far more exclusionary than those of the U.S. (which, if we apply the same standard to Mexico that the corporate whore "news" media applies to the U.S., means that Mexico is far more racist than the U.S.)?

On the issue of internet freedom, does this candidate support or oppose

-- repealing any and all "cyber security" laws or regulations that allow for Chinese-style censorship and control; and

-- enacting the Internet Freedom Preservation Act?


I could go on, of course, but I think you get the idea.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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10 Reasons Obama is Just As Bad or Worse Than Bush
« Reply #26 on: April 05, 2011, 07:27:32 PM »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/10-reasons-obama-is-just-as-bad-or-worse-than-bush.html

10 Reasons Obama is Just As Bad or Worse Than Bush

Activist Post
April 5, 2011

George W. Bush was clearly a mentally-challenged puppet of the military/banking/oil elite.  The policies put it in place at breakneck speed after 9/11 were provably predetermined by think tanks well in advance. Not that other presidents were any less controlled by this hidden agenda, but there was a noticeable in-your-face quickening of corporate-government tyranny under Bush.

These policies like wars of aggression, illegal surveillance of Americans, torture of detainees indefinitely held without formal charges, unfair “free trade” agreements, and bank bailouts rightfully enraged many progressives during the Bush years.  Yet, not only have these policies accelerated under Obama, even more of the draconian playbook is unfolding.

After 8 years of Bush’s reign that ended with a record low presidential approval rating in the low 20s, Obama’s promise of hope and change inspired many beyond mainline progressives.  His campaign speeches were so powerful that they landed him the Nobel Peace Prize without having done anything for world peace except to offer the idea in order to get elected.  As a Constitutional law professor and attorney, Obama appeared to have a greater understanding of rights and the balance of power than did flunky Bush.

Although policies being implemented under Obama’s leadership exhibit the continuation of Bush’s tyrannical agenda, his stunning betrayal of populist and Constitutional principles in support of these actions makes him the ultimate hypocrite.  Additionally, because Obama is a much more influential orator than Bush, his service to the puppet masters is far more dangerous to the American people he’s supposed to serve.

There have been many articles written about Obama’s unkept promises and outright lies, but here are 10 actions that prove Obama is just as bad if not worse than Bush:

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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Programmer under oath admits computers rig elections
« Reply #27 on: April 20, 2011, 01:34:15 PM »
Mandate the use of hand-counted paper ballots for all elections.

http://www.prisonplanet.com/programmer-under-oath-admits-computers-rig-elections.html

Programmer under oath admits computers rig elections

YouTube
April 20, 2011

Software programmer says US elections are rigged and that US Representatives tried to pay him to rig their election vote counts.

       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1thcO_olHas
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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Bipartisan Plutocracy: Obama is a Political Puppet
« Reply #28 on: May 25, 2011, 03:44:06 PM »
http://www.globalresearch.ca/bipartisan-plutocracy-obama-is-a-political-puppet/24950

Bipartisan Plutocracy: Obama is a Political Puppet

by Joel S. Hirschhorn



Global Research
May 24, 2011

The outspoken scholar and Princeton University professor Cornel West has been viciously attacked by many on the political left, especially supporters of President Obama.  Why?  Because he had the courage to call Obama a “black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats.”   For more of West’s views see this article.

Most of the attention has been on the use of the word “black,” as if the black Cornel West had made a racist comment.  In fact, West got it right because he and some other true progressives have condemned Obama for not being an authentic progressive.  Right again, Obama has never shown himself to be a true leftist progressive, even though many on the conservative right may think he is one.  West thinks Obama “has no backbone.”

It is not that Obama is not black enough, as some think West was saying.  It is about the dishonesty, deceit and corruptness of Obama.

What everyone should be praising West for is that he correctly made the point that Wall Street oligarchs and corporate plutocrats have stolen the US government by using vast sums of money to corrupt both Democrat and Republican politicians.

West just told the truth about Obama who got elected because as a candidate for president he received a huge sum from the most awful Wall Street company, Goldman Sachs.

What West has explained is that “poor and working people have low priority in US government policy including the Obama Administration.”  No surprise because West is definitely a true liberal progressive who has been making this kind of criticism very openly for a long time.  Indeed, if poor and working people, as well as all African Americans, would wake up to reality they would abandon Obama, even as the lesser evil.  Obama has told too many lies and done too many wrong things to deserve their support.

Nearly all members of Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, are nothing more than mascots of Wall Street oligarchs and puppets of corporate plutocrats, something that all intelligent Americans, including those in the Tea Party movement, should totally agree with.

Here is something else West said: "The tea party folk are right when they say the government is corrupt.  It is corrupt. Big business and banks have taken over government and corrupted it in deep ways....we've got to think seriously of third-party candidates, third formations, third parties."

Over at FutureofCapitalism.com this point was made: Obama “has basically enshrined the too-big-to-fail banks while also propping up GE and the firms that will benefit from ObamaCare.”  True enough.

We need many more people that get mass media attention to say the kind of things that West has said.  Americans need to be reminded incessantly that their government has been hijacked by rich and powerful elites.

With a corrupt two-party plutocracy elections no longer offer the promise of much needed reforms.  Odds are that Tea Party people will realize that their favored Republicans will also not deliver a rehabilitated, honest government serving the interests or ordinary Americans.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

charrington

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Ron Paul: Both Parties Are War Mongers Just Ripping You Off.
« Reply #29 on: May 27, 2011, 03:04:48 PM »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WR-eCevBknw

"Both Parties are War Parties. Let's face it. That's what we have to admit. It seems that the Military Industrial Complex controls both the parties. A lot of weapons are sold. And, you always have to have an enemy. Think how many weapons have been sold already just bombing Libya. How many dollars do we have to spend getting more drones to drop bombs in Pakistan" said Ron Paul when he appeared on The View recently.

Ron Paul also emphasized the influence of Corporations on decision and policy making in American politics: "We have a system of Corporatism where business and Governments are partners and they rip us off - whether it is the Military Industrial Complex or big drug and insurance companies. And, that's why we have lousy care."

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Re: Election Reform!
« Reply #30 on: May 27, 2011, 03:18:37 PM »
Republicans and Democrats are 2 Party Corporatocracy.

Americans are just too apathetic to ever vote in a party that will actually represent them.


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The Democrats and 'Lesser Evil' Politics
« Reply #31 on: June 04, 2011, 11:50:16 AM »
http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-democrats-and-lesser-evil-politics/25108

The Democrats and 'Lesser Evil' Politics

by Jack A. Smith



Global Research
June 3, 2011

Why is it that people in the United States enjoy far fewer social benefits than the working class, middle class and the poor who live in many other industrialized capitalist countries?

Why is it that the major social benefits Americans do have — such as Medicare, Social Security and food stamps — are constantly in danger from right wing Republicans and conservative Democrats? Why is it that the modern Democratic Party always seems to compromise and retreat, even when it is the stronger of the political duopoly? And why is it that there aren't more viable choices at the ballot box to help overcome this situation?

These and many other questions have been coming to the fore since the Democrats gained the White House and both houses of Congress in the 2008 elections but did not mobilize their majority to fight for social gains or pass important social and labor legislation. Now, following the Republican domination of the House since last year's midterm election, the entire edifice of social advances won over the decades seems up for grabs.

Further, though the majority of Democratic voters opposed the Bush era wars, they are being continued by Democratic President Barack Obama, not just in Iraq and Afghanistan but spreading to Pakistan, Yemen and now Libya, where the White House, while trying to hide in the background, is leading the U.S./NATO campaign for regime change by bombing the residence of Col. Gaddafi and his family. Had George W. Bush done that when Democrats used to be in the peace movement they would have protested in droves.

A key to these contradictions, which many Americans often do not recognize, begins with the fact that that America is a class society. The capitalist social-democratic countries of Europe are also class societies, but some of them enjoy far greater benefits from their governments because their left mass parties fought hard to gain and retain those benefits.

The political, educational and communication systems that mold popular thinking in the U.S. work overtime to conceal the class nature of our society. The notion of a "classless" America is largely believed even though it is contradicted by the cold statistics of wealth, income, poverty, power, powerlessness, housing, education, jobs, healthcare, the biggest prison population in the world and an aggressive hegemonic and militarist foreign policy.

The facts also show that many millions of Americans are further oppressed by racial as well as class stratification, although the generality of white people seem to believe that racism and the barriers to racial equality are no longer serious problems. Why else is African American unemployment double that of jobless whites, and black family assets are less than half that of white families? Why else the cash-starved inner-city schools, or the de facto residential segregation?

The nature of the American political system vitiates against social reforms for the masses of people. There are two ruling political parties in the United States — the Republicans and the Democrats — and both these parties are positioned right of political center, the Republicans to the farther right.

It is hardly controversial to suggest that these ruling parties primarily serve the interests of wealth, the corporations and Wall St., and that they exercise dominant influence over the Republican and Democratic leadership and a large majority of political office holders. To our knowledge there is not one decisive indicator to demonstrate this assumption is false.

For example, the two parties combined neoliberalism and globalization to benefit the big corporations at the expense the American working people and the society in which they live. Both supported the financialization of the economy and then deregulated the financial markets. Both presided over the deindustrialization of the United States. Both facilitated the greed and gambling that led to the Great Recession. Both do little to seriously alleviate unemployment. Both refused to take effective steps to prevent millions of home foreclosures or to fight for programs to rebuild America's neglected infrastructure.

The Democrats gesture politically toward the middle class, working class, minorities, unions and the poor — their principal voting blocs — though in the last 40 years this broad constituency has received nil-to-negligible benefits from the arrangement. In fact many of the gains won in struggles of earlier years are in deep jeopardy today, with little more than a rhetorical fight-back from the Democratic Party. It is true that the Democrats are fighting back on Medicare — one of the most popular programs in America which the Republicans foolishly attacked — but only a small minority stand up for new proposals serving the mass of working people.

This is the "genius" of the American political system. The class of wealth and power has devised a structure where only two fairly similar mass political alternatives are available on Election Day, as opposed to the three and four viable mass parties, including those of the left, in other rich capitalist countries, especially in the social democratic societies.

As we have noted before, the U.S. is the only such country without a mass left party — and every effort to form one over the decades has been weakened by red-baiting, repression, the opposition of a formidable commercial and governmental propaganda apparatus, and the reluctance of the progressive left and labor to turn away from the Democratic Party and work with others on the left to build a mass third political party to challenge the hegemony of the two parties of big business.

The American people are told that the only way to bring about a good government that really cares about the people is in the voting booth. But at the booth the choice for the upper classes usually consists of "good" and "lesser good" political candidates, with "evil" and "lesser evil" candidates for everybody else.

Many Democrats in 2008 thought President Obama was a "good" candidate who would govern from the liberal or progressive "left," but in practice this was shown to be fictitious. They will now vote for him again in 2012 as a lesser evil candidate because he is the only available viable alternative is some god-awful reactionary who will strip them of their Social Security. This tends to bedevil the liberal/progressive voting bloc every four years. (Note: We say "viable" in the sense of being able to win; there are left candidates from small parties who are better and deserve a vote, but the system is stacked against them.)

At this point, because many of the Democratic House members who lost last November were center-rightists and Blue Dogs defeated by far-right Republicans backed by the reactionary Tea Party, there are more liberals and progressives among the Democratic ranks than usual. A total of 83 out of 193 Democrats belong to the Congressional Progressives Caucus — and they are rendered virtually powerless by President Obama, House leaders, and the bigwigs and money people behind the Democratic Party. In April the caucus introduced a liberal People's Budget to challenge Obama's center-right offering and the GOP's ultra-conservative proposal, but as The Nation noted May 9, it was simply "ignored by establishment Democrats."

The Republican Party has moved considerably farther to the right in recent decades. Just look at its antics in Congress and in the state legislatures today. They are trying to break the unions and destroy all the social advances of the last 75 years. It's not that the GOP is so powerful, but the Democrats are compromising and weak, partially because they are moving to the right themselves behind a leadership hell-bent on compromise with the right wing.

It hasn't always been this way. The old Democratic Party, going back nearly eight decades, harbored a vibrant center-left wing for several years during the 1930s and a few more during the 1960s.

Now, the Democratic Party is positioned on the center-right (similar to the old "moderate" Republican tendency that was drummed out of the GOP decades ago), though it continues to harbor a minority center left faction of remnant liberalism and a smattering of social democrats. This worthy but sidelined vestige, which defends the old victories and remains guided by the ideals of modern liberalism, inadvertently provides the backsliding party with an undeserved liberal patina.

In the 1930s the Democratic Party moved partially to the left in order to save capitalism during the Great Depression by inaugurating a number of social-democratic reforms that pumped money into the economy and kept the working class away from socialist revolution. (Remember, there was a swiftly developing Soviet Union at the time and it was essentially the only country in the world untouched by the Depression.) This was the period of President Franklyn D. Roosevelt's New Deal, which began dissipating with the approach to World War 2 (1941-45).

Though largely unwarranted, the party's center left reputation lingered for years afterwards, because of its continuing defense of the Depression-era programs (such as Social Security), and due to the phenomenal post-war growth of the union movement. At the same time, it was the Democrats who ruled Dixie and were the prime supporters of racial segregation, as they were of the Cold War.

In the mid-1960s the Democratic Party again moved to the center left, partially because the '60s were more radical times. There were two main reasons.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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American Politics: "Lie To Me"
« Reply #32 on: June 13, 2011, 01:07:05 PM »
http://www.globalresearch.ca/american-politics-lie-to-me/25244

American Politics: "Lie To Me"

by Joel S. Hirschhorn



Global Research
June 12, 2011

What is the main lesson from the recent fiascos of former Senator John Edwards and Representative Anthony Weiner?  If you follow the news shows you saw a number of video clips where each of them had lied many times about what eventually they confessed to, their stupid, sleazy sexual misconduct.  As I watched the videos I was amazed how good their lying behavior was, without any hint of their blatant dishonesty in how they looked or sounded.  Of course, I was also reminded how terrific a liar Bill Clinton was when he went on television to lie about his sexual misconduct.

As a fan of the TV show Lie To Me where the experts can detect minute physical signs of lying or micro-expressions, I felt that the politicians had developed the talent and skill to lie without giving any sign of it.

Here is what Americans should learn: All elected Democrats and Republicans have succeeded because they are excellent liars and, therefore, not one of them can ever be trusted to be telling the truth.

When you vote for any of these two-party politicians all you are saying is: LIE TO ME.

And when they get elected that is exactly what they will do, and not just about their personal behavior.  The larger lesson is that American politicians will also lie effortlessly about public policy and just about everything they have anything to do with.

Make no mistake, President Obama has lied about many things just as presidents before him also have.

Can you have an effective representative democracy when elected officials can never be trusted to tell the truth to citizens?   No.

Elected officials no longer feel they have a profound responsibility to tell the truth.  It appears to be behavior that has become automatic, not something they agonize over.  Lying has become normal behavior whether it is done in Internet communications, on TV, in speeches or during campaigning for office.  Lying may have become so commonplace that politicians no longer spend time justifying it to themselves or their closest staff or supporters.  Sure, when they get caught, they easily apologize and accept responsibility in some glib and usually tearful way.  But their moral decrepitude should not be forgiven.  Dishonest politicians are chronically ill, selfish, egoistic betrayers of public trust.  Severe punishment of them is necessary, starting with legally required removal from office and loss of all pension and health insurance benefits.

In the US political system public trust of elected officials is passé, or should be.

This is not a matter of cynicism; it is just prudent and logical to mistrust just about everything said by elected officials.  Of course, if you think that a particular politician lies supports your views, then it may not bother you, but it should.

Forget about the rationalization that politicians merely misspeak or that they are just fallible human beings like the rest of us.  My point is that an essential skill and regular behavior of politicians is lying without any hint of it.  The only thing that politicians now fear is losing control and inadvertently telling the truth!

Has it always been this way?  Have American politicians always been ubiquitous liars?  I don’t think so.  What was once aberrant behavior has become normal behavior.  It is yet another sign of just how much the US has sunk.  It is not just that the country is on the wrong track; it is off the track, falling into an abyss.

When it is rational to always be suspicious of everything politicians say, then why keep listening?  Why keep voting for them?

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Election Reform!
« Reply #33 on: June 29, 2011, 07:46:18 PM »
For those not already familiar with the following:

       http://politics1.com/p2012.htm
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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Will most voters fall for the "lesser of two evils" argument YET AGAIN?
« Reply #34 on: July 02, 2011, 10:59:51 AM »
If there's one thing both of the two banker-owned major parties have proven over the last decade, it's that if you put either one in charge of both the legislative and executive branches of government, the parasitic war budget continues to grow more monstrous, the domestic police state continues to become more and more like Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, and the corporatized economy continues to become more and more like that of a poverty-stricken Third World nation.

In view of this reality, can any of you lesser-evil voters out there provide a rational explanation as to why you think voting yet again for one or the other of those two parties will do anything other than bring us more of the same?

Or does the level of thought required to answer such a question spoil the fun of treating politics as just another spectator sport?

"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

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Offline Geolibertarian

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http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-founding-fathers-tried-to-warn-us-about-the-threat-from-a-two-party-system/25553

The Founding Fathers Tried to Warn Us About the Threat From a Two-Party System

by Washington's Blog



Global Research
July 8, 2011

Polls show that a majority of Americans say that both the Republicans and Democrats are doing such a poor job representing the people that a new, third party is needed.

I've repeatedly warned that there is a scripted, psuedo-war between Dems and Repubs, liberals and conservatives which is in reality a false divide-and-conquer dog-and-pony show created by the powers that be to keep the American people divided and distracted. See this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this.

In fact, the Founding Fathers warned us about the threat from a two party system.

John Adams said:

    There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.

George Washington agreed, saying in his farewell presidential speech:

    The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.

    Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind, (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight,) the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

    It serves always to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration. It agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

    There is an opinion, that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the Government, and serve to keep alive the spirit of Liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in Governments of a Monarchical cast, Patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in Governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And, there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be, by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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Lies are being fed to the Public by America's Two-party Plutocracy
« Reply #36 on: July 25, 2011, 10:52:19 AM »
http://www.globalresearch.ca/semantic-propaganda-feeds-stupidity-lies-are-being-fed-to-the-public-by-america-s-two-party-plutocracy/25753

Semantic Propaganda Feeds Stupidity: Lies are being fed to the Public by America's Two-party Plutocracy

by Joel S. Hirschhorn



Global Research
July 23, 2011

We would already have had a much needed American revolution in response to the tyranny of the money-fed two-party plutocracy that is destroying the middle class except for one big problem: so much of the American population is just plain stupid. Too stupid to behave like angry Greeks and rise up in the streets to rebel against the dysfunctional government.

In the never ending fight of Republicans and their cancerous (make that stupid) Tea Party members to gain even more control of the US political system, economy and culture they have fixed on another semantic weapon. The latest attack on intelligence is the constant use of the term job creators in place of words like the rich or wealthy. Not just plain Republicans in Congress are doing this, but especially the large crop of Republican presidential candidates.

This bit of cleverness surely was deemed necessary because much of the nation was beginning to appreciate the class warfare going on. Rising economic inequality, unemployment set in concrete, and merging of the middle class into the poverty stricken lower class were all becoming clearer.

Keep this in mind: As Zuckerman pointed out, the US “experienced the loss of over 7 million jobs, wiping out every job gained since the year 2000. From the moment the Obama administration came into office, there have been no net increases in full-time jobs, only in part-time jobs. This is contrary to all previous recessions. Employers are not recalling the workers they laid off from full-time employment.” Business sectors have discovered that they can maximize profits with smaller US work forces; they export jobs and their capital investments. And they benefit from all kinds of tax loopholes protected by Republicans so that they pay very little if any US taxes.

A terrific new article by Jeff Reeves makes the case that unemployment will actually rise to over 10 percent, because of anticipated layoffs in the financial, technology, and aerospace and defense sectors. The data are compelling. All this despite high profits.

Apple is sitting on an amazing $76 BILLION in cash. Other than understanding that people are paying too much for their products, just imagine if they invested a big fraction of that on moving manufacturing of its products from foreign countries to the US. An enormous number of good jobs could be created here.

What were Republicans to do, especially as they used the current crisis surrounding the need to raise the national debt limit to seek huge cuts in federal spending affecting ordinary Americans and prevent higher taxes for the greedy rich and corporate forces?

What better way than to falsely claim and constantly presume that those that should be paying higher taxes are exactly the ones who create jobs and that they would not do so if hit by higher taxes. In truth, this is a bold lie. The richest Americans have been paying the lowest taxes in many decades and corporate profits have been enormous, and this reality has clearly had absolutely no positive impact on the unemployment and underemployment plaguing at least 30 million Americans and their family members.

Go back to the post-World War II era when the richest Americans paid very high taxes and you discover that jobs and fairly distributed wealth were created in abundance.

Neither wealth nor jobs trickle down from the Upper Class. Proper government policies are required to prevent criminally large fractions of the nation’s wealth going to the most greedy and selfish elites. Those NOT rich that support Republicans are very stupid; they have been brainwashed by the steady stream of Republican lies and propaganda that are used to serve the rich and corporate interests sustaining Republicans with much money. The return on their investment has proven more than adequate to justify their endless input of money to Republicans.

We probably will soon see President Obama cave in and giver Republicans much of what they want. There will be major cuts in federal programs that will place millions of Americans in even more precarious economic uncertainty and pain. And there will probably be far too little increases in taxes on the rich and corporations. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security may all be cut in ways that harm many people.

Lies are constantly being fed to the public. Will you be smart enough to see them for what they are? The more you face this ugly, disturbing reality, the more embarrassed you will be about the US political system and, hopefully, the more inclined you will be to stop voting for any Republicans or Democrats and participating in our delusional democracy.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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Court Filing Reveals How 2004 Ohio Presidential Election was Hacked
« Reply #37 on: July 27, 2011, 02:44:31 PM »
http://www.globalresearch.ca/court-filing-reveals-how-2004-ohio-presidential-election-was-hacked-unexpected-shift-in-votes-for-george-w/25786

Court Filing Reveals How 2004 Ohio Presidential Election was Hacked: "Unexpected Shift in Votes For George W."

by Bob Fitrakis



Global Research, July 26, 2011
freepress.org  

A new filing in the King Lincoln Bronzeville v. Blackwell case includes a copy of the Ohio Secretary of State election production system configuration that was in use in Ohio's 2004 presidential election when there was a sudden and unexpected shift in votes for George W. Bush.

The filing also includes the revealing deposition of the late Michael Connell. Connell served as the IT guru for the Bush family and Karl Rove. Connell ran the private IT firm GovTech that created the controversial system that transferred Ohio's vote count late on election night 2004 to a partisan Republican server site in Chattanooga, Tennessee owned by SmarTech. That is when the vote shift happened, not predicted by the exit polls, that led to Bush's unexpected victory. Connell died a month and a half after giving this deposition in a suspicious small plane crash.

Additionally, the filing contains the contract signed between then-Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell and Connell's company, GovTech Solutions. Also included that contract a graphic architectural map of the Secretary of State's election night server layout system.

[Clickable images omitted. See original article.]

Cliff Arnebeck, lead attorney in the King Lincoln case, exchanged emails with IT security expert Stephen Spoonamore. Arnebeck asked Spoonamore whether or not SmarTech had the capability to "input data" and thus alter the results of Ohio's 2004 election. Spoonamore responded: "Yes. They would have had data input capacities. The system might have been set up to log which source generated the data but probably did not."

Spoonamore explained that "they [SmarTech] have full access and could change things when and if they want."

Arnebeck specifically asked "Could this be done using whatever bypass techniques Connell developed for the web hosting function." Spoonamore replied "Yes."

Spoonamore concluded from the architectural maps of the Ohio 2004 election reporting system that, "SmarTech was a man in the middle. In my opinion they were not designed as a mirror, they were designed specifically to be a man in the middle."

A "man in the middle" is a deliberate computer hacking setup, which allows a third party to sit in between computer transmissions and illegally alter the data. A mirror site, by contrast, is designed as a backup site in case the main computer configuration fails.

Spoonamore claims that he confronted then-Secretary of State Blackwell at a secretary of state IT conference in Boston where he was giving a seminar in data security. "Blackwell freaked and refused to speak to me when I confronted him about it long before I met you," he wrote to Arnebeck.

Read the email correspondence here [pdf]

On December 14, 2007, then-Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, who replaced Blackwell, released her evaluation and validation of election-related equipment, standards and testing (Everest study) which found that touchscreen voting machines were vulnerable to hacking with relative ease.

Until now, the architectural maps and contracts from the Ohio 2004 election were never made public, which may indicate that the entire system was designed for fraud. In a previous sworn affidavit to the court, Spoonamore declared: "The SmarTech system was set up precisely as a King Pin computer used in criminal acts against banking or credit card processes and had the needed level of access to both county tabulators and Secretary of State computers to allow whoever was running SmarTech computers to decide the output of the county tabulators under its control."

Spoonamore also swore that "...the architecture further confirms how this election was stolen. The computer system and SmarTech had the correct placement, connectivity, and computer experts necessary to change the election in any manner desired by the controllers of the SmarTech computers."

Project Censored named the outsourcing of Ohio's 2004 election votes to SmarTech in Chattanooga, Tennessee to a company owned by Republican partisans as one of the most censored stories in the world.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline donnay

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Re: Election Reform!
« Reply #38 on: July 27, 2011, 05:48:27 PM »
Election reform can be done so easily...it can be done just like people who purchase a lotto ticket.

You go into vote, on a paper ballot, you get a receipt with a serial number on it.  After all the votes are tallied by serial numbers on a piece of paper, they hand the results to the local newspapers so that the newspapers (or your city/town's own website) can print out the results and who voted for whom by serial numbers.  You can reference it, if your serial number does not appear or if there is a wrong vote, you can simply go to the voter commission and complain and match up your vote to the serial number for proof.

No need to have results instantaneously...if it takes a week to hand count ever vote, then so be it.

That's the kind of reform that is needed.  No more electronic ballet boxes to rig these elections!!
"Logic is an enemy and truth is a menace." ~ Rod Serling
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Offline zacherydtaylor

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Re: Election Reform!
« Reply #39 on: August 03, 2011, 01:55:49 PM »
Election reform may be easy in principle but it isn’t as easy in practice. We need election reform now as much if not more than ever that is controlled by the public. We also need media reform that enables a larger segment of the public to get their views across to the public. Ideally the job applicants, now referred to as candidates, would be required to fill out an application that is controlled by the public or at least with a major amount of input from the public and they should also be required to attend job interview also controlled as much as possible by the public. This should be required for anyone that has their name on the ballot and the public should have an opportunity to choose from many other candidates regardless of whether or not the corporations approve them. No sincere democracy would allow the corporations or any other small segment of society to have veto power over which can run for office. This is essentially what we have now; with the corporations in complete control of the election process and the Mass Media the public is led to believe that they have to choose between corporate candidate A or B. To accept this false choice is, as Geolibertarian indicated, the real way to waste your vote. Either way we get a government controlled by the corporations; the only difference anymore is what kind of spin we get from one party or another.

This is the best description of election reform that I have seen recommended to date although I haven’t had a chance to read it all; I will have to get back to it. I have also written up my own recommendations; which at a glance seem to have a lot in common with this one. This can be found at the following site.

http://open.salon.com/blog/zacherydtaylor/2010/08/02/election_reform